Saturday, July 11, 2009

Please help stop the violence in the DRC

Well, one of my goals with this blog was to educate people about the Democratic Republic of Congo. Even though, it is much more fun to post cute pictures of all my babies, this information I feel needs to be shared! I recently came in contact with a mother in the early process of adopting from the DRC. She has started a blog The Terry’s for a lot of the same reasons I have started Our Storibook. She recently shared information on the following topic and I want to pass it a long.
The conflict in eastern Congo (the deadliest since World War II ) is fueled significantly by a multi-million dollar trade in minerals. Many American’s do not know that the DRC is one of the only places in the world that has the minerals tantalum and tungsten, both are needed to manufacture all of the gadgets that we just can't live without. This includes cell phones, computers, iPods, digital cameras, etc. A major source of fighting in the DRC is over who controls the mines of these valuable minerals.

Many rebel controlling groups stand to make about $144 million off of these minerals. Where as the average Congolese person makes only $300 a year (yes, a year not a month). These armed rebel groups are willing to do just about anything to have control. This includes innocent people being killed, women being raped, and children being macheted.
These same minerals then make their way to the US where companies use them to make our electronics. So indirectly, our technological conveniences are fueling the largest humanitarian crisis of the last 60 years.
So how can we help half way around the world? I am asking you to take a minute to email major electronics producers and ask them to use conflict free minerals. A pre-written letter to these companies is available by clicking HERE. All you have to do is put in your email address and the rest is taken care of.
You can also support new legislation. The Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 calls on the United States to support efforts to help ensure that the mineral trade stops contributing to human rights violations, including killings of unarmed civilians and sexual violence, while at the same time developing mechanisms to allow the Congolese people to benefit from these resources. And it would require US companies to adhere to much stricter rules on the disclosure of the origins of any of the three key conflict minerals for this region.
So, I am also asking you to click HERE to urge your Senators to cosponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009. Again, all you have to is put your email address and the rest is taken care of.

I know I am asking a lot today, but it only takes a few minutes! Thank you all for you support! I do believe we can change things together!

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”--Mother Theresa

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