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Many of my readers, friends and colleagues have asked about my affection for Africa, global health, Congo, Sudan and women’s equality in third world countries. Others were astonished with my decision to complete a 40 day hunger strike, nobody more than me. After much contemplation, I penned a piece explaining the genesis of my work for the Huffington Post.

An excerpt:

…My decision to undertake this effort was about more than sisterhood, it was an expulsion of pain. The genesis of my affection for Africa’s women and children is about gratitude for my freedom. But also the duty preserving freedom requires. At age 17, I was held against my will for six days and raped repeatedly by several young men. A strong survival instinct made it possible for me to remain calm, identify my location and convince one of my captors to give me access to a bathroom while the others were gone. I called my father and he rescued me. I never looked back. No police. No rape kit. I just wanted my life back. To be back in my parents’ loving and safe home. The hunger strike helped me forgive myself for whatever harm may have come from my silence. Our Sisters in Congo cannot pick up the phone and wait for rescue. No such safety net exists there.

Rape victims are a silent sisterhood. When you have been dehumanized by another being totally possessed by evil, the experience is unimaginable. Akin to witnessing an eclipse of good, where it disappears into darkness and you wait, hoping for salvation and redemption…

Please read it all HERE.

—Media Lizzy

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