2017 has been quite a year, both for Women of Hope, and in events taking place around the world. This year we have laughed and wept together; we have witnessed incredible evil, and have experienced God at work in mighty and tangible ways. In our prayer and planning for the year-end giving campaign this year, it was difficult not to acknowledge the current national conversation taking place about women’s issues. As a ministry dedicated to walking alongside women affected by disability in Sierra Leone, one of the questions we consistently ask is: how is God asking us to respond in light of the truths that we know?
Recently, Women of Hope launched a social media campaign called Dignity adds Dimension. This campaign is, in part, a response to the conversation that is taking place regarding the inherent value of women and the complexities of gender justice. While conversations about injustice against women sound somewhat different in America, the victimization of women and girls due to deeply-rooted beliefs that women have less value is an accepted reality throughout the majority world. And yet… There. Is. Hope.
We know how easy it is to get frustrated in knowing how to respond when we encounter injustice and the complex issues of gender inequity. We simply don’t live in a world where the problems and solutions are black and white. But instead of allowing things to grow hazy, we are asking God to renew our commitment to promote dignity and the dimension it brings in the face of injustice. Our Dignity adds Dimension campaign is meant to serve as a reminder to ourselves and others that by furthering programs like female entrepreneurship, wholistic training, and individual discipleship, we are proactively doing justice, as we aim at and prioritize the restoration of dignity through the message of hope found in Jesus Christ.
During this season of year-end giving, our heart’s desire is to provide opportunities for potential partners like yourself, to be able to respond to injustice in a positive way, by affirming the inherent value of women affected by disability. Our hope is that together, we might infuse dignity and hope into a global conversation about women’s issues as we provide training, support, education and advocacy for women like Mariatu Kargbo, who is currently in one of our Transformation Training classes. “I never had the chance to go to school or even think about holding a pen,” she said. “Now I am thankful to God that I can sign my name.” As a part of the training that includes health promotion, small business skills, discipleship and basic community development lessons, Mariatu is experiencing a restoration of dignity as she learns to sign her name. In a society where the illiteracy rates for women far exceed that of boys and men, restoring dignity in Mariatu’s life speaks boldly into the global conversation about women’s rights by voicing that: She. Is. Valuable.
As we pray and ask God to guide us on our journey, we choose to speak words of Truth:
Justice is not demonizing perpetrators, or an entire gender.
Justice is not promoting the rights of one gender over another.
Justice is not hate, brutality, or unforgiveness even in the face of cruelty.
Justice is not done by perpetrating more injustice.
Justice is bringing dignity to women and victims of abuse around the world.
Justice is restoring and healing relationships.
Justice is caring for the vulnerable.
Justice is showing up to do the hard work of reconciliation.