Sunday, June 15, 2014

Congo Swim Kicks Off Today


This Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15th marks the official launch of CongoSwim 2014, an opportunity for everyone to bring deeper meaning to any summer activity. Keris Dahlkamp, CongoSwim founder and a Contra Costa father of two, developed the collective action as a platform to break the silence around the worst humanitarian crisis of our time and raise support for Congolese groups working for a peaceful and just future.  It is estimated that at least 6 million people have died from war-related causes, half being children under the age of 5. 

Keris Dahlkamp swims Lake Tahoe
“If it were my wife or child being affected by violence in this way, I would hope that those who could do something, would do something.  Especially since we benefit so much from Congo’s land, I invite everyone to join me because every action matters.”  Dahlkamp said.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most mineral-rich countries on our planet.  Minerals such as coltan, tin and gold are necessary to manufacture our computers, cell phones, cars and more.  Control of the land and these resources has played a key role in fueling the conflict. 

Parents are finding CongoSwim a great way to help their children explore global citizenship and how any regular activity can be a vehicle for helping others.  Upon registering, families receive information with appropriate language to speak with children about injustice.

Children participate in Congo Swim
“I joined because there are people in Congo who are suffering and I am here using an iPad made from valuable minerals that are supposed to benefit them,” shared a nine year old participant.

Last summer, Dahlkamp swam 22 miles across Lake Tahoe where he was joined by Coco Ramanzani, a survivor of war and rape in eastern Congo.  Coco, whose story is told in the book, Tell This to My Mother, is an activist and advocate for all women and children.  Coco says, “It is too painful to imagine that all that has happened to me in Congo is happening to other women and children right now… I hope all of you will join CongoSwim. I invite everyone to invest in a future free of violence, full of human dignity.”  Ramazani will return again to the east bay and speak on August 23 following a walk around Lake Merritt. 

To learn more and register visit or call 925.812.2496.

Funds raised will be distributed as grants by Global Fund for Women and Friends of the Congo to women and youth-led groups in Congo.  CongoSwim will be officially launched at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) this Father’s Day, with a call to action from Seven Hills graduating 8th grader Suzanna Creasey who walked 22 miles around the Lafayette Reservoir with her family as CongoSwim participants.  While the beneficiaries are not religiously affiliated and participants are from diverse beliefs and backgrounds, key organizing has come from the LOPC Congo Team.

For interview contact
Keris Dahlkamp                                                              
CongoSwim founder                                                                                                  
(925) 812-2496      

Kambale Musavuli
Friends of the Congo
(202) 584-6512


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