07/30/2014 05:36 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2014

After Being Raped, Nonprofit Founder Continues Aid Work In South Sudan

Aid worker Kimberly Smith was raped about 10 years ago while working in South Sudan during the height of the genocide crisis, but she hasn’t let it hamper her humanitarian efforts.

Smith, the founder and CEO of Make Way Partners, told HuffPost Live last week that going back the country after her attack and continuing to serve has been integral to her healing. The nonprofit founder, whose Christian agency helps protect and educate women and children in South Sudan, said she was reminded that her work isn't just about her but also about helping "women at large:”

"Secondly, because it is about me, and because it is my story and because it has been healing for me to go back and be with other women who suffered similar traumas. But also, to be amidst perpetrators and violent offenders -- it's been healing. A big part of my journey to continue to return to both the violence and the redemption that I see happening in South Sudan."

The conversation was a followup to a previous HuffPost Live interview with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, during which Smith recalled the details of the incident:

"I came down along the river and ran along the side of Islamic Darfuri refugees ... and they attacked me not knowing who I was or what I was doing, beat me pretty severely and raped me," she said.

Smith pointed out that ultimately, her setback hasn't been overshadowed by her desire to help people and fulfill her true calling.

"I still get afraid at times, but there is something that I think wants, in all of us, to honor the dignity of humanity in each and every person."

Watch the full interview about the humanitarian workers that continue here:

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