Congo’s Superhero Moms

American mother with Congonese mother and her children
Image: Sean Sheridan/World Relief

This was the year my two sons began to love superheroes. We popped in the Spider-Man DVD one night out of boredom and that was all she wrote. For the next five months we watched everything Spider-Man, Superman, Ironman, and Whoeverman we could. So, when I announced I would be making a special trip to the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to find and record the stories of brave women living in what the U.N. calls the “most dangerous place to be a mother” their reaction was natural: “Mom, they are like superheroes.”

Why yes, boys—yes they are.

My journey into the heart of war-torn Eastern Congo began last summer at the suggestion of a trusted friend. To my husband’s credit, he whole-heartedly supported the idea of his wife traveling into a war zone. This, after all, is the man who delivered my Mother’s Day breakfast-in-bed with reading material titled “Congo: The worst place in the world to be a mother”. And I love him for that; he knows I don’t want to be the one that cringes at hard things, but faces them squarely armed with hope. It was my husband that introduced our family to the great British abolitionist William Wilberforce, who famously said “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know . . . ”

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