Tapestries Of Hope – Changing the World. One girl at a time
Tapestries of Hope, was created to raise awareness and funding for the women and child rape victims in Zimbabwe and around the world.
Look out for their tweets coming from @Youcanhelp, @SocializedCause, & @CauseofTheWeek for the week!
Michealene Cristini Risley is the founder of Freshwater Haven, a nonprofit that creates social change by raising awareness about abuse of women and children throughout the world.
“It’s a privilege to share Betty Makoni’s story with audiences across the country,” said director Risley. “I hope the film shows that every person can make a difference in improving women’s lives, even in a place where women face challenges that are unimaginable to many. By telling this story, perhaps others will be inspired to make a difference in their own way.”
“I have been working on issues of violence against women and children for a number of years. A photo journalist had mentioned to me that men were raping children to cure AIDS in Zimbabwe. I was deeply moved and upset by the story, but I didn’t want to go to Africa. One day the journalist called me and said that Betty Makoni, founder of the Girl Child Network which rescues and houses child rape victims, was coming to speak in my home town. I met Betty and we exchanged stories. Turns out that Betty and I are both rape survivors which created a bond and connected us instantly. From that conversation, I promised to go to Zimbabwe.” Michaelene Cristini Risley
Why is this cause close to your heart?
“Child abuse survivors become passionate advocates and that’s true for me,” said Michealene.
Why should others support it?
“The cost of global violence amongst women & children is astronomical. The permanent damage to human beings is almost irreparable. One out of 3 women will suffer this type of violence in their lifetime. What is it going to take to implement change and stop this from happening?“
Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?
“Yes! On September 28, 2010, 106 theaters around the country will show our documentary, Tapestries of Hope, which will raise awareness about the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) and hopefully encourage audience members to contact their representatives in Congress to pass this bill. You can purchase tickets online at a theater near you, here.(http://www.screenvision.com/s/showing/TapestriesOfHope/)”
What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?
“Just do it. It only takes one person to create change. The power of one can be monumental.“
How has social media helped your organization?
“Facebook helped me get out of prison in Zimbabwe after Betty, my assistant and I were arrested for filming there, need I say more?” ~ Michealene Cristin Risley
What do you have planned for the future of the movement?
“Once I-VAWA is passed, then VAWA which is the Violence Against Women Act in the United States, is then up for renewal in the US next year and we will be focusing our efforts on getting that passed. Additionally, we are constantly trying to raise funds to supply underwear, clothing, sanitary napkins and other supplies to the Girl Child Network.”