Congolese war survivor set to speak in Minden |

Congolese war survivor set to speak in Minden

Staff Reports

Coco Ramazani


Congolese rape and war survivor Coco Ramazani is to speak at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Shelby’s Book Shoppe, 1663 Lucerne, Minden. The Family Support Council is hosting the event to benefit the campaign to end sexual violence in conflict against women and children. The event is free. Information: Family Support Council, 782-8692.

Coco Ramazani, a Congolese survivor of rape and war who now lives in the United States, is to speak at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Shelby’s Book Shoppe.

Ramazani is visiting Nevada to participate in a healing ceremony on Lake Tahoe where CongoSwim founder Keris Dahlkamp will attempt to swim the 22-mile length to increase awareness about the atrocities and raise funds for Congolese women and youth organizations working for peace.

Dahlkamp is a former employee of the Douglas County Recreation Department and the Nevada Legislature.

CongoSwim is Aug. 25, in observance of Orange Day, a call to action by the United Nations Women’s UNITE campaign to end violence against women and girls. UNITE’s focus for Aug. 25 is sexual violence in conflict.

Dahlkamp has dedicated each of the 22 miles to individuals and organizations that have inspired the creation of CongoSwim, many of which will receive funds raised through the event. Mile one is dedicated to Ramazani.

Her story was told in the book, “Tell This to My Mother,” which will be for sale at the event hosted by the Family Support Council.

She shares: “It is too painful to imagine that all that has happened to me in Congo is happening to other women and children right now. For this reason, I decided to break my silence about the rapes, my HIV status, and the post-traumatic stress disorder. My heart is broken in many pieces and bleeds daily … Join me in ending the rapes by calling out and helping groups in Congo.”

The Wednesday event is free. Shelby’s Book Shoppe is at 1663 Lucerne, Minden.

Donations can be made by clicking “Donate” at, or by making checks payable to Friends of the Congo, with “CongoSwim” in the memo line, and sent to: Friends of the Congo, CongoSwim, 1629 K. St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC, 20006.