Women, War and What they fed the children.
"There is no greater burden that carrying an untold story." Maya Angelo
Eighty percent of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people are women and children.
In order to humanize these statistics, we are gathering stories of women and their children from around the world who have experienced or live in war impacted areas – and we include many who are not normally cited – in the United States we will collect stories from Native Americans whose reservations fit the profile of post conflict societies and whose lives are burdened by a legacy of trans-generational trauma – we also include stories from places like New Orleans which at one point had more killings that Iraq at its peak. There are many places in the developed world that meet the criteria as war zones -- past or present that do not get much press in this context.
As we look at experiences of war, we find little difference in the narratives of those living in defined war zones/post conflict societies and the narratives of women and the children living in inner cities.
In our project, we asked ourselves how these women cope and care for their families and themselves. How did/do their children fare? -- their daughters who are often raped or sold into the sex trade? -- their sons who are most at risk to be conscripted, murdered or imprisoned? The challenges are different for each.
What are the lingering symptoms of encountering the severe stresses of war? What unknown aspects of self were called up by these circumstances? What gave them the strength to survive and persevere. And last what do they want the world to know?