On the rainy morning of October 19, a group of students and faculty participated in the Run for Congo 5K that occurred on the Wilmington College campus. At 10 a.m., men and women ready to run met at the lower soccer field behind the YMCA and Hermann Court/Fred Raisk Arena. The path was carved out because of a cross-country meet that had taken place the day prior. The group was determined to participate in the cause for the women of the Congo despite the weather.
Founded by Lisa Shannon, author of the freshman reader A Thousand Sisters and speaker at the Westheimer Peace Symposium, the Run for Congo Women is a grassroots series of runs/walks that take place throughout the U.S., Europe, and D.R. Congo. The events have raised more than $700,000 towards Women for Women International (WfWI). WfWI’s mission statement is to “provide women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies.” Wilmington College has now begun their part in bettering the lives of the women in the Congo for whom WfWI and Lisa Shannon have been working so hard. Marlaina Leppert-Wahl, assistant professor of political science, said, “This 5K at Wilmington College was a great event to further the awareness about the atrocities that are taking place in Congo and some of the ways we can help out.”
The Run for Congo is a simple way to give to the women who are so often forgotten in another part of the world. It is only a small commitment on the participants’ behalf, with great personal benefits and even greater contributions towards Congolese women. Callie Eberhart, a freshman at WC who participated in the 5K, when asked if she would participate again, shared, “Yes I would participate in it again. It was a really good way to spend time with my family and friends and I knew I was giving back to a good cause.”