In early November 2007:
Women for Women International received a call from CBS’s 60 Minutes notifying them that they would like to do a piece on the epidemic and effect of rape on women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They specifically wanted to visit the program office and speak to the some of the participants for first hand accounts of what they had seen and endured as women living in the DRC.
Saturday, November 10th:
Upon landing at Kavumu airport in Bukavu from Goma; the 60 Minutes crew came directly to the Women for Women program office to start filming. They shot inside the ceramic studio where participants were actively making tiles, as well as participants in rights awareness groups, literacy, cooking class, sponsorship payment, letter writing, etc.
They interviewed several participants in the program and heard them read letters from their sponsors. They talked with Judithe Registre from Women for Women International about what life is like for the women in the program, and what Women for Women International is doing to help.
Sunday November 11th:
The crew arrives in Walungu at 7:00 am. The road is slippery as it is another rainy morning followed by a rainy night. They begin to interview women, one in particular stood out – her name was Lucienne. She spoke to Anderson Cooper about her life in the DR Congo and about her participation in the Women for Women program. She also spoke about her sponsor, Deborah Nicholson, and the letters they exchanged.
That night Judithe has dinner with the crew, including Anderson Cooper. She recalls that “It was light and interesting; Anderson tells some funny stories about his travels and work. Also, she enjoyed hearing one of the cameramen describe how amazing it was to see Lucienne light up when she joined her group.
Monday November 12th:
The producer, Michael and Anderson Cooper leave in the morning, after filming last minute scenes in the morning at Panzi hospital with Dr. Mukwege. The associate producer is also following up with the letter translation process; from the writing/translation of the letters, to the packaging and shipment to Headquarters in order to get a sense of how the Sponsorship program works.
“We are overwhelmed with the sincerity and interest the crew took in our DR Congo Program and with the women and men who participate in it. We look forward to having our story told.”
Judithe Registre, Women for Women International