Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Thousand Sisters by Lisa Shannon

Since I read a lot I figure I might as well blog about what I am reading. Who knows? Maybe I can inspire someone else to pick up a book.

Last night I finished reading A Thousand Sisters by Lisa Shannon. This is a subject that is becoming increasingly near to my heart for many reasons. I was first introduced to the plight of women in Africa and Asia in the book Half the Sky that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. This book continues on that path.

Lisa, the author, was a stock photographer with a comfortable little life in Portland, Oregon. She was watching Oprah one day, I know it sounds a little cliché but bare with me, and saw a segment on the horrible conditions in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the amazing work Women for Women International is doing to aid the Congolese women and other women around the world. She decided that she MUST do something, and do something she did. After deciding to sponsor several Congolese women (called sisters) through Women for Women International she decided she wanted to do more; so she founded Run for Congo Women with the expressed purpose of raising funds and awareness of Women for Women International and the women of Congo. Soon after she decided she needed to do even more. Lisa then packed up her normal life and her camera and headed to Africa. She meets some of her “sisters” along with many other Congolese women. Struggling through language barriers she collects the stories of these women and their families and retells them in her book.

While it’s not the best written book you will ever read, nor is it the most informative on the subject, you will still be inspired. The simple prose of the book is a testament to the simple woman who wrote it, but that is what makes this book work as an inspirational work. The reader can connect with Lisa in a way that they often can’t with other activists and writers. Lisa was a “regular” person with a job, boyfriend (who leaves her during this journey) and a house. She wasn’t rich, she didn’t have a degree from an Ivy League school, she didn’t have a little black book of important, political or celebrity connections. What she did have was courage, determination and compassion. If this book doesn’t inspire you to sponsor a woman through Women for Women International or at least spread the message then you might need to go to the local ER because you don’t have a pulse.

You can find the book here. It is available in a Kindle Edition as well.

Click here for Women for Women International.

Click here for Run for Congo Women.

Tiny Giraffe Kisses To Everyone!

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