About The Truth Told Project
The Truth Told Project was born in December of 2010 when award-winning photographer Sarah Fretwell ventured into the war-torn mineral rich region of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Her time there was spent in rural villages and bush country ravaged by the ongoing battle for access to minerals and land.For fifty days, she gathered the untold stories of the people bearing the brunt of the conflict. The Project amplifies the voices of women, girls, and men of the DRC who have been silenced by the war, their government, and corruption
The goal of the project is to illuminate the daily realities of life in the DR Congo, discuss the key players in the conflict, and the rampant sexual violence. It will discuss the immense prospect the land and people hold for the future, if only they can have the support of the international community.
As The Truth Told Project works to educate viewers by sharing the personal stories of sexual violence survivors from the ongoing resource war in The Democratic Republic of Congo, the project has truly spread world wide. A conservative estimate of the project reach last year based on Google Analytics is that the project has reached more than 400,000 viewers.
That number is truly more than I could have ever imagined when I journeyed to North Kivu in December of 2010. To hear more about my personal journey in following my passion through the evolution of this project, please watch my talk on Unreasonable Activism – A Journey into the Heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo at TEDxSkidRow that was presented at TEDxSkidRow in Los Angeles this past September. A few of the many other project highlights in 2013 were:partnering with STAND (The Student Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities) to bring The Truth Told Project to universities across the United States presenting at TOMS shoes headquarters speaking at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management being a featured speaker at the Palm Springs Photo Festival speaking at TEDx SkidRow being a featured speaker at University of Southern California.
While many good things have been happening for the project, the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to remain unstable. While the M23 rebel group surrendered, there are still an estimated 29 armed groups still fighting in the DRC. I personally receive numerous funding requests from COPERMA (the non profit I worked with in DRC) throughout the year in desperate need of money to reach the increasing number of young survivors in remote villages. As the need for their services continues to increase, COPERMA struggles to find the funding to reach survivors (many of them teen girls) to offer them post trauma care and support.
This year I was recruited to work for the United Nations Headquarters in New York during the general debates. For six weeks I spent my time attending high level meetings, photographing presidents and dignitaries from around the world – including Barack Obama -, and most importantly reaching out to as many high level ministers and representatives as I could to share the personal messages the girls and women DRC have shared with me. Deepest thanks to everyone who has donated to the project this past year and for your continued support through donating services, time, and funding.