This is a difficult story of rape survivors in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The current statistic is every hour in the day 48 women are raped. So in addition to the horrible death toll of war, thousands of woman and children are left injured, abandoned, despised by their families and society, and with no hope for a future.
But one woman named Masika, herself a rape survivor, is helping other women recover and rebuild their lives by learning to grow their own food. Bean and corn seeds, farmed communally with other women, are not only feeding their hunger but acting as balm for deep psychological wounds.
I cried throughout the 25 minutes of this show. The suffering is overwhelming. The message, though, sings in my heart. Seeds and working the land are our way back to hope, back to life.
Not to discount the superhuman efforts Masika makes in caring for everyone, acting as counselor and mother. It is a heavy burden on her. She persists, she says, because there is no one else to do it.
But the seeds are the tool she’s using to achieve this miracle of saving and protecting life. Having come to gardening myself as a means to reconnect with the natural world and live a healthier, more meaningful life, it’s a message I already understood intellectually. After seeing Masika’s story though, I feel this deep truth has penetrated my inner-most core and lodged in my soul.