Woman of Courage 2014!
When ethnic violence engulfed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo was imprisoned with her family, after a harrowing nighttime arrest of her entire family. Her husband was executed, and her twin sons were born in prison. She emerged from this experience advocating forgiveness and reconciliation. In a country where ethnic violence has created seemingly irreparable rifts among Tutsis, Hutus, and other Congolese, this remarkable woman is a vital voice in her nation’s search for peace, encouraging world and local leaders to revisit the manner in which they enforce justice. Today, she is a global activist for peace and reconciliation and an in-demand motivational speaker, honored by the White House, and named 2009 Humanitarian of the Year by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In 2012 she founded the Rose Mapendo Foundation—a nonprofit committed to empowering widows, women, and children around the world. Rose Mapendo’s story has been chronicled in the documentary film “Pushing the Elephant.” Mapendo is a victim no more. She is an incredible survivor, a true hero, and an inspiration to us all.