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Students launch State Department postcard campaign to promote Congolese human rights abuses

Two students at St. Michael’s College in Vermont have launched a postcard campaign to raise awareness and legislative action toward human rights abuses in the East Congo. Over the next couple of weeks, thousands of postcards depicting a Congolese woman holding her baby will be addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

Kate Bailey and Leah Ziegler are aiming to have 16,000 postcards delivered, each from a respective college group, charity or organization from across the country.

The postcards celebrate the Secretary’s birthday this week and read, “Happy Birthday! As a gift to yourself and the women of the world, we ask that you make peace in East Congo a foreign policy priority.”

“What we want is for (Secretary Clinton) to use diplomatic efforts to convince Rwanda and Uganda to stop fueling the Congo conflict,” Bailey told the Burlington Free Press.

The campaign has cost about $10,000 – funds granted from St. Michael’s College and Sisters of Mercy. Although it has been heavily promoted through social media across the country, the students’ opted for a postcard message because the medium provides for a more personal and friendly approach – not to mention the State Department could easily delete 16,000 email messages.


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