That takes real talent.
I stumbled upon CNN (which I am sad to admit, doesn't happen as often as I like to pretend it does) which was broadcasting the CNN: Heroes tribute special.
The show was already in progress and Nicole Kidman was up on stage presenting an award to a woman in the audience. The woman wiped tears from her eyes as she walked up to the podium. The camera flashed on various celebrities (Pierce Brosnan, Carrie Underwood) who were shown also wiping their tears and looking inspired by this woman.
There was something about the quiet gravity of the woman's voice that moved me when I heard her speak, after she collected herself at the podium. And I wanted to learn more.
So I went to CNN.com so I could read more about her.
Her name is Betty Makoni and she founded Zimbabwe's Girl Child Network, which assists young women who have been raped.
She has helped rescue over 35,000 women from the horrors of rape.
As I read more about this woman, this angel of a woman, I came to learn that she herself was raped when she was 6 years old. Her mother told her that it was not be discussed and she hid her scars away, as women and young girls must do around this world every day.
She has helped 35,000 women.
6 years old.
According to the article, there is a "virgin myth" that is perpetuated in Zimbabwe by religious elders and spiritual healers that a man infected with HIV can be "cured" if he rapes a virgin.
According to UNICEF, some of these "virgins" are too young to walk.
Too young to walk.
What does that even mean?
I started trying to do the math. My daughter started walking when she was thirteen months old.
As I read further, I stumbled upon the words that confirmed that I hadn't read that wrong. That I hadn't stumbled on the words.
"The youngest girl I ever came across was a day-old baby who was raped."
6 year old girl
Day Old Baby.
I went to my daughter's room and kissed her sleeping head and said a prayer thanking God that I can give her a life where she will never, ever have to deal with that horror.
OVER MY DEAD BODY.
I heard a quote the other day that struck a chord with me.
"Life is not considerate."
Well, just to be clear, Life has been pretty considerate to me. Life knocks on my door and drops in and leaves me a lasagne every once in a while. Life lends a hand and while it has sometimes been a little moody, for the most part, Life has held its temper with me and been polite. Life does not always feel like it's my best friend, but it has not stabbed me in the back and left me hurt with wounds that can't heal.
But I would say that for these women, these young girls, these toddlers, these BABIES - Life is NOT considerate. Life has been rude, stingy and hasn't given them a voice that was heard.
I sometimes wish I was a more religious person - but I do believe in God and while I don't necessarily understand more than this absolute - that I believe God has a plan for all the souls in our world, I must pray for these women that there is a plan. I have to believe that there is.
That there is hope.
That someone is listening.
That someone cares.
Betty Makoni is that person in the absence of divine intervention. She's the teacher, the healer, the leader, the figurehead and the force that will drive these women to the light.
Thanks to true heros like Betty Makoni. I am BLOWN AWAY.
What an inspiration.
Please read this article for the full story on this AMAZING woman.