So it's almost over. The election that is. And, thank GOD!
Granted, I work in Washington, DC but I think swing state voters might have it even worse than me! Do ya feel me?
While there are truly political issues I care about -- because political issues affect our lives every day -- there isn't much most of us can do at the federal level. Vote, yes, but it's the smaller issues, our local communities and pet causes where we can make our voices matter.
I am such an advocate for Congo, as you all know and thanks to "Raise Hope For Congo," I got to say something about that for this year's election.
They started a campaign -- uniquely based on Instagram actually -- called #Vote4Congo.
It gave people an opportunity to speak out and say, no matter who wins, I vote for Congo. That's what I am doing today.
I would love to see U.S. policy that helps this amazing country, which is ruled by the corrupt, trapped by warring cultural and ethical groups and relentlessly stolen from by surrounding countries.
Did you know that the conflict in Congo is the deadliest war no the world? It never really ends. 90% of women in Congo are raped in their lifetimes, many children are recruited to work as child soldiers on the front lines, lack of education and basic needs leave many young adults NO CHOICE.
Additionally, Congo is one of the richest countries in resources in the world but such resources have been stolen from them for years.
Specifically, I'm voting for the 58 children that live in the Congo for Christ Orphanage in Uvira, Congo. Remember them? Yeah, they are the precious future of this country.
After reading "Half the Sky," I'm convinced that it is education that is going to be the savior for these kids and for this country.
Earlier this year, my team and I raised enough money to send all 58 orphans to school in uniforms with books and a meal for the year. I will do everything I can to make sure that happens every single year.
Corruption is thick in Congo but it is not the end all be all. We must empower the people -- who love their country -- and slowly but surely help leaders rise up. I believe this is done through a combination of things: local churches, long-term mission groups committed to the area like mine, private organizations like Eastern Congo Initiative, sponsorship groups like Women for Women, Int.'l, various NGOs and foreign policy.
With my limited knowledge and less than a year of researching the country, that's just what I think But most of all, it takes people who care. The Congolese who care first of all but secondly, the others -- me and you. You can't save the world but you can do something.
Congo was once the thriving, progressive heart of Africa, bursting with tourism and potential. Traveling there now, the remnants of those hopeful days are lost beneath the trees. But the hope didn't die and I know that because it was there this summer when I visited.
What's YOUR Cause?
Today, I cast my vote for President of the United States. It is my fourth time to do so (wow!) It is always an honor and privilege. There is something beautiful about going into that booth and picking who I want to be the leader of the free world!
My life is not going to change tomorrow if the person I voted for doesn't win -- or if he does.
I still have a responsibility to go out there and make good choices in my community, in my country and my world. I will still choose to donate to the causes I believe in and speak out for those without a voice. I will still write about Congo and go to Back on My Feet and put money in the red tins at Christmas time.
|The race we ran so that 58 kids could attend school in Congo this year.|
I'll still believe that it is we, as individual human beings, that make the difference in this world. So I challenge you to do your part to change the world just a little bit. It will do much more than clicking the tab on a voting box.
As my church has preached lately: ACT. Move, do it. You can share a million Facebook statuses or retweet a good cause but it doesn't matter unless you take action. Be the change :)
I gladly spent last night at a special mission service at church -- instead of talking about the election. RomneyObamaRomneyObamaAhhhh! We sang over the nations, "You are the everlasting God." Thankfully, God never changes.
QUESTION: What are you voting for? (Not who!)
PS: I got the chance to be on NBC-4 this weekend talking about Pinterest. Check out the clip if you have an extra second: