Americans for UNFPA, the official U.S. support organization for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, will honor Yvette Mulongo, a healthcare advocate from the Democratic Republic of Congo at a luncheon on Tuesday, March 1st at The Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Dr. Archelle Georgiou, medical expert on Fox9 News (KMSP-TV) will be the luncheon emcee. Saint Paul Poet Laureate, Carol Connolly, will also read from her work.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of six countries worldwide that together account for 50 percent of global maternal deaths, according to U.N. estimates. With support from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, Ms. Mulongo has developed training materials on family planning methods and provides contraceptives to help women plan and space their families, ultimately giving them more control of their lives.
The luncheon is scheduled from 12.00 pm to 1.30 pm and tickets may be purchased for $100 each through the Americans for UNFPA website at www.americansforunfpa.org/celebrations. All tickets are fully tax-deductible.
Ms. Mulongo is being recognized for her dedication and commitment to women’s and girls’ rights in a country that has a legacy of violence against women and that activist groups refer to as the “ground zero of rape.” She is a program manager for the Abbott Fund for Maternal and Child Health Program and the Director of Family Planning for SANRU, a rural health program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ms. Mulongo has educated communities on the benefits of women’s empowerment for sixteen years and she continues to do so.
She has some refreshing news to share about efforts to empower women in her country. “There has been progress,” she says, “we have seen educated men that are starting to free themselves from the traditional myth that women are tools for the production of children.” The recent spate of violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo has brought world attention to the plight of the country’s female population. According to U.N. reports, as many as 200,000 women have been sexually assaulted in the last 12 years.
“Yvette Mulongo is a leader and health educator who inspires the countless number of Congolese women she counsels on the importance of their self-worth and empowerment. She has worked tirelessly in one of the most hostile environments for women on the planet. Advocates like her are the backbone of UNFPA’s mandate to provide a life of health and dignity to women everywhere,” said Mindy Rechelbecher, board member at Americans for UNFPA and co-host of the event.
Ms. Mulongo will receive a $5,000 grant from Americans for UNFPA, and will travel to San Francisco on March 3rd and Seattle on March 8th, International Women’s Day, to speak about the fundamental importance of educating and empowering women globally. For more information on Ms. Mulongo’s speaking engagements, please visit: www.americansforunfpa.org/celebrations.
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women in over 150 countries around the world. Americans for UNFPA is dedicated to building moral, political and financial support in the United States for the work of UNFPA. UNFPA and Americans for UNFPA are committed to ensuring that every woman and girl has the right to a life full of health and dignity. When women are educated, healthy and empowered, families and communities thrive.
The Twin Cities is home to more than 4,500 Americans for UNFPA supporters. Each year Americans for UNFPA hosts educational and public awareness events to bring together activists committed to the health and rights of women.