Tonight at the Hollywood Film Festival's Human Rights Symposium, Matt Smith will accept his award for submitting the winning video to YouTube's Video for Change program, "Come Clean 4 Congo," in partnership with the Enough Project. Back in May, we asked you to make videos demonstrating the connection between the "conflict minerals" used in cell phones and the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Matt's winning video, voted #1 by the YouTube community, used spoken word to take a far-away, complex issue and make it understandable and compelling:
To say things aren't going well in the Congo would be an understatement. It is the deadliest conflict since World War II, and militias continue to use rape as a weapon of terror. The UN reports that in the first half of 2009, more than 5,000 women have been raped in the South Kivu province of the Congo. Al Jazeera News reports on the conflict from a clinic in the Congo, where many of the victims are being treated:
The Enough Project saw the connection between the minerals that are mined in the Congo and used in our cell phones, and wanted to use that connection to bring this issue home to people living in the U.S. Thanks too to all the YouTube users who made videos to raise awareness of this issue. If you'd like to learn more about what you can do to help, go to the Enough Project's website.
And if you're in the LA area and want to register to attend the Human Rights Symposium, sign up here.