3.23.2007

Inpiration! 32 yr old woman helping women and children in Congo

Lisa Shannon
How can a Portland woman help women and kids in war-torn Congo?

BY LANCE KRAMER | lkramer at wweek dot com

[March 23rd, 2007] Three years ago, Northeast Portland resident Lisa Shannon says she couldn't even "pick out Congo on a map."

Then, while home sick one afternoon, Shannon (pictured, right) watched an Oprah episode focusing on the decade-long civil war in the African nation.

Those horrors moved Shannon, a 32-year-old filmmaker and photography producer, to start Run for Congo Women. The organization uses charity running events to support Congolese women and children who have suffered in the war, which has already killed an estimated 4 million people.

Run for Congo Women has raised about $100,000 in sponsorship money that goes directly to Women for Women International, a group helping women survivors of the war "rebuild their lives" through education to acquire the skills and funding necessary to start small, self-sustaining businesses. Organizers have planned similar events based on Shannon's model in at least 10 states as well as England, Germany and Ireland (visit her website, runforcongowomen.org, for more information).

WW talked with Shannon last week after she returned from her first trip to the Democratic Republish of the Congo. She'll speak at 7 pm Wednesday, March 21 (free), at The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave.

WW: Why choose running as a way to raise awareness?

Lisa Shannon: I was trying to think about what I had control over. Running 30 miles is something that can't be faked. I couldn't really stop the war . But if I did this, maybe it would make people around me see how serious I took it, to get out there every day and train.

1 comment:

Mollie said...

holy crap does that make me feel lazy.