On June 17, 2019, I had the amazing opportunity to meet Joseph Ciza for coffee at the home of Art Ammann, the Founder of Global Strategies. Also present were Art's wife, Marilyn, and Jean Armas, the Program Coordinator at Global Strategies.
Joseph Ciza, from Goma in the Eastern Congo, is a truly remarkable man. He has dedicated his life to protect women from brutal violence. I was truly humbled to hear Joseph's story of being kidnapped three times by rebels, and even facing death while helping women who had been raped. Undeterred by fear, he continues to help women who face brutality in dangerous areas. I asked Joseph, "How do you deal with the fear and risk?" He replied so softly and humbly, "I'm just doing the Lord's work". At HEAL Africa, Joseph has helped women who were subject to rape get post-exposure prophylaxis kits to help them from being infected with HIV.
Joseph Ciza's wife is also a nurse and they have eight children, five of whom are adopted children that have lost their parents either to HIV or death by rebels.
I was deeply humbled and inspired to meet Joseph Ciza.