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The Truth Told Project
One girl or woman is raped every minute in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The rape is not random, as you might think. It is a power play that targets those who are not in a position to fight back. The rebel and military groups use rape as a scare tactic and way to control and destroy local communities. The DRC’s society is so broken rape is now “normalized.” Millions of girls, women and men have been raped. Many more will be raped in the time it takes you to read these few paragraphs.
Photographer Sarah Fretwell woke one day from a nightmare and realized she was “supposed to go” to North Kivu, a warn-torn and mineral rich region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Shortly after, in December of 2010 she arrived and spent 50 days photographing and filming the girls and women of the DRC. She absorbed and chronicled their stories of terror and tragedy. Fretwell passionately formulated what is now called, “The Truth Told Project” (thetruthtold.com).
Her mission is to assist these girls and women to tell their stories. They want and need the truth told. Fretwell’s compelling photographs capture the pain, despair, innocence and hope of these women and children.
By using photography, videography, art and written words, Fretwell wants to generate conversation and bring awareness to something each of us can actively participate in to end.
The Africa Center at the Smithsonian has offered encouragement in her photographs and she has spoken at the 2012 SXSW Interactive Conference, but it is each of us as individuals that need to actively help in the cause.
“We vote with our dollars,” says Fretwell. Countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, Congolese soldiers, and foreign mercenaries profit from mineral resources because of the unregulated supply chains that feed the high technology consumption of the world.
Fretwell’s call-to-action is for all of us to be mindful of what happens when our technology thirst is constantly quenched.
To that end, Fretwell requests that we do the following:
1. Email your cell phone provider and let them know you want the option of a cell phone not made of conflict materials. You can email in one click right here: http://everence.com/showwide.aspx?id=12709
2. Visit the Conflict Mineral Company Ranking to see how your brands of choice stack up - http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/content/conflict-minerals-company-rankings
3. Email your electronics companies in one click. http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/takeaction/congo/email-electronics-companies
4. Sign the Conflict Free Mineral Pledge and share it on Facebook. http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/takeaction/congo/sign-the-conflicts-mineral-pledge
Please visit thetruthtold.com to view additional compelling portraits photographed by Sarah Fretwell.
The program is actively seeking funding to expand its reach. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to offer your assistance and support.