Congolese women and Zainab Salbi, Women for Women International

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Zainab Salbi, president of Women for Women International, returns to the Congo to see how life has changed. The violence continues, but she says Oprah viewers are making a real difference.

Since Lisa's report, donations totaling almost $500,000 have helped more than 6,000 women. "Today our children are supported, our children can go to school, our children have clothes," one woman tells Zainab.

These contributions also support dozens of learning centers across the country. At these centers, Congolese women receive vocational skills training, women's rights training and counseling. Zainab says education has given these women the confidence and courage to speak out. "The difference is, they're breaking their silence. Instead of hiding in their homes, they are actually doing something about their lives," she says.

A survey of 600 women who've participated in the Women for Women International program reveals that 92 percent are now earning a living. Some say they are making as much as $120 a month, which is significant in a nation where workers typically earn 20 cents a day.

"We believe there is a businesswoman in every woman," Zainab says. "The beauty of what I'm seeing here is that there is hope in these women...their eyes are shining."
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Published on April 26, 2006

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