Last month Maternova profiled the work of Days For Girls Founder Celeste Mergen. In this month’s blog showcasing a woman making a difference, I am personally nominating Dominique Vidale-Plaza. What makes her a woman who inspires us? Keep reading to find out.
After obtaining her undergraduate degree from Liberty University in 2010, Dominique immediately entered the humanitarian workforce as the Managing Director of ‘Women in Warzones’, where she was first introduced to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The gender based violence is so rampant that the DRC is known globally as the world’s most dangers place to be a woman. The routine employing of rape and torture of woman, girls, and vulnerable men is so widespread in order to achieve subjugation and dominance; it’s the last place most women would willingly go to.
Dominique is certainly not ‘most women’, as she is planning to return to the DRC in February 2013 to begin work on a very special project 'Build Hope'. In the Mwenga territory, medical resources are scarce. It’s over two days walk to reach the closest clinic on foot. Women who live here are often forced to traverse the dangerous terrain pregnant, or worse, in labor as they look for medical help. The Mwenga territory has no physicians to speak of and midwifes with no formal training are the primary providers of medical care. It’s a desperate situation, and requires a very bold trailblazer to start the wheels of progress turning. Build Hope is hoping to open The Kilungutwe Health and Community Center as soon as she receives funding.
In partnership with the renowned Panzi Hospital , Dominique is seeking to bring a health clinic into the most desolate area in Mwenga. Her focus is primarily to assist rape victims with emergency medical services along with education. In speaking with Dominique I wasn’t surprised to learn that most women accept their unfortunate fate as victim. She went on to say ‘It’s hard to inspire people who have given up hope’, but that is not going to stop her from trying. She believes the residents of this remote Democratic Republic of the Congo location deserve improved quality medical care. It’s a noble mission we’ll be keeping an eye on. Thank you Dominique for all YOU do for women!
Please take a moment and check out Dominique’s own blog online at: http://dvplaza.wordpress.com