Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Penny Banner Women's Project

Bishop Jason Sanderson is pleased to announce the establishment of the Penny Banner Women’s Project aimed at providing support and relief for the women of the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

Since the beginning of the Civil War in the country in 1998, nearly 5.4 million people have died either as a direct result of the war itself, the resulting epidemics brought about by malnutrition and pestilence, or as the result of a society that has yet to be satisfactorily rebuilt following the end of the hostilities. These conditions were further exacerbated by the AIDS epidemic that continues to spread through Africa.

As a result, many women lost homes and families and became destitute in a society in which they do not have significant status and in which violence against women is perceived as normal. Women who have no means of supporting themselves are often at the mercies of exploitation. In 2006, the UN, and African studies reported that improving the status of women, as well as preventing violence against them, was deemed to be a small priority.

In response to this, the Liberal Catholic Church International has formed The Penny Banner Women’s Project to meet the following goals:

  • To provide women with the means of learning a trade to be able to achieve financial independence.
  • To provide education to the Congolese society to discourage violence against women.
  • To provide Congolese women with refuge from domestic violence.
  • To provide women with the spiritual and material means to assist in the rebuilding of Congolese society.

This project is named in memory of Penny Banner, former AWA Women’s Heavyweight wrestling champion. Penny was a woman who experience firsthand discrimination against women, and the struggles a single mother faced through domestic upheaval from which she was able to establish herself as a successful businesswoman and leader of the sport of professional wrestling and in her community. In the face of these obstacles she maintained a faith in God, a spirit of compassion and courage and became an example to others for her continued efforts to improve not only her life, but the lives of others. It is therefore felt that she would be a stirring example to women who are faced with these same situations.

For more information, or to find out how to help, contact Bishop Jason Sanderson at bpsanderson90@yahoo.com