"Wait, what?" you say. "Has SHONA made it so big that we no longer have to worry about putting food on the table?"
I wish. That's not it at all. We still face all those daily struggles.
But a Microphone is powerful. And in this world, we in the "West", have been holding the mic for a long time.
Look at Argentine's face when she is holding that mic.
One of the things that the SHONA Congo women talk about the most is what it feels like to be walking in the street and be mistaken for "beggers". Because of their crutches... people just assume. That is where the word "handicapped" comes from "Cap in Hand"...begging.
So how about flipping the script? How about "mic in hand"? You see why it matters right?
That is why we need your help to start "Congo Voices", a video channel where the SHONA Congo women will share their lives with you, from their own perspectives. You can donate to our start-up costs at http://www.shonacongostore.com/pass-the-mic-investment/ and help us literally buy that mic. Or for just a few dollars you can become a monthly sponsor of our channel at https://www.patreon.com/congovoices.
I just got off the phone with Solange, in Goma, where every night she continues to hear shooting and violence in their poor neighborhood on the edge of town.
She was so excited and ran off to start shooting a video with her phone. Because a microphone matters. The chance to share your experiences with the world matters. And it doesn't matter less just because you are poor, and struggling to put food on the table. Maybe it matters more.
I don't know what this channel will end up looking like. Will it be a place where Argentine teaches you how to sing a song in Swahili? Or where Solange shows you what it is like to live in her neighborhood. I don't know what it will look like, because it depends on the women...And it depends on you.
Join us this holiday season, as Argentine and Mapendo get ready for the biggest journey of their lives. And Riziki and Solange fight for their own lives in a place full of more beauty and more chaos than any other place I have ever been.
Join us, and let's make sure these amazing women have a MIC IN HAND. Because I know they've got something to say.