I've learned through traveling how much I truly love embracing what makes me uncomfortable, doing what comes unnaturally, going against the grain, making incautious decisions, facing my fears and refusing to give in.
When Espy was eleven years old and living in a tent at a United Nations refugee camp in Gatumba, soldiers from the regular Congolese army set fire to tents and used machetes to massacre the refugees. Espy was shot in the back and played dead among the dead and dying to survive.
Most importantly, let's remember that someone, somewhere, is praying to live the miserable and stressful lives we think we are leading.
There is no bloodier 20th century history than that of the Congo. Against all that gore, how then can we imagine that over the same time frame Congo, or Kongo, persisted as arguably the most brilliant artistic center on the continent?
Congolese youth are organizing for a new society -- one in which the interests of the people are prioritized and protected by their leaders. They are fighting to have a say in the decision-making process of their country, and to control and determine the affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"I owe this group so much," says Alexandra Saali, a founding member from 2008 who now serves as a Young Professionals "Amplifer" for Girl Be Heard. Hearing about the plights of Congolese women and the other girls gave her "purpose, mission, and the drive that kept me on track through the crazy years of growing up.
Rivers are some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. Rivers and lakes sustain more fish species than the sea even though they contain 600 times less water.
Through his intriguing and poignant pictures, Congolese artist and photographer Sammy Baloji confronts the Western portrayal of his country by linking old photographs from Belgian colonial times with contemporary ones. The result is captivating.
I have never been one to shy away from a challenge. Whether taking the train into New York City by myself as a young teen to attend dance classes with Alvin Ailey, or deciding at the age of 40 to abandon a career in the arts to get involved in the HIV/AIDS crisis, or, just ten years ago, taking the helm of one of the oldest NGOs in the U.S.
It is time for the World Bank and the DRC government to embrace more feasible solutions and stop holding the Congolese population hostage to their multi-billion dollar dreams.
In my last article I described how I chose the two team members who would be accompanying me on my upcoming expedition to walk the length of the Congo...
Imagine you're putting together a team to take on one of the world's great remaining adventures, a walk the full 3000-mile length of the Congo River. How do even begin to choose the people to join the team?
My feeling is that Obama's State Department is persecuting the only stable government in Central Africa and coddling a brutal dictator in Congo by sending the equivalent of schoolchildren to do the work of policy experts. Ask yourself how DRL's Steven Feldstein can be an "expert" on both Sudan and Rwanda and responsible for international religious freedom on top of it all.
Mélanie Gouby discusses her professional involvement with the Virunga project as well as her emotional attachment to the region she got to know so well.
Twenty-four years ago, I managed to flee to the United Kingdom from the Democratic Republic of Congo and was lucky enough to be granted political asylum. My journey was difficult, and made worse by not being able to contact my friends and family back home to know if they were safe.
International media did not broadcast this important and moving ceremony, but camp residents and leaders used the power of still photography and social media to communicate thousands of words that demanded to be heard.