15 February, 2008

Lumo and Valentine's Day is gone

Last night I saw a movie. It wasn't a romantic movie or a movie being viewed with a "special" someone. In fact it was watched with three other special someones - my mum and two sisters. We went and saw Lumo.

Lumo is a young women from the Congo and the movie is two years of her story; a reflection of thousands like hers.
As war has crippled eastern Congo for the last 16 years, women are targeted by rebel soldiers and horrifically raped - this includes soldiers using sticks and even their guns to penetrate the Congonese women - as form of war tactic to spread terror and fear among the people.
From this brutal rape many women are left with a fistula— a condition that renders them incontinent, threatens their ability to give birth in the future and without surgery risk death.

Lumo is rejected by her fiancé and cast aside by her family because of the rape (how will she bear children) and because of the shame of incontinence. Lumo finds her way to the one place that may save her: a hospital for rape survivors set on the border with Rwanda. It is here that Lumo is looked after by a team of "Mama's" for the next two years. Free surgery is provided to help restore the ladies so they may return home.

American journalist Ann Curry's report on Feb 13 2008 about the war in Congo.

Donations to the only hospital helping these women (Heal Africa) can be made on their website.

Personally I found the movie very informative and well worth watching. I did note that one of the ladies behind me was making a few nervous and uneasy noises - so be warned some may find the movie too raw - there is only a small amount of sugar coating on this one.


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