MCF: Of course, because not only people are deciding for us, but people are talking for us. This is what the Congolese women are saying, "end the war and sexual violence in the Congo." We feel that some of the agenda that African women such as Congolese women want to put forward to end the war is not being listened to because there is another agenda so that the illegal trade of natural resources will continue in the Congo.
CNN: Many women's groups in the Congo feel not enough is being done. So it is not about getting the voices heard, it's about what happens next.
MCF: Yes, I think Gandhi said it, "if you want to see change, you start it within yourself." If we want to see change in the Congo, we have to work for that. So it's about ourselves, about working with African women all together to make that change.
Betty Makoni is a Zimbabwean activist fighting to rescue girls from sexual abuse. She was raped at the age of six and lost her mother at the age of nine. After surviving these traumas, she vowed to devote her life to protecting young women and girls from abuse. Through her program "Girl Child Network" she says she is protecting more then 300,000 girls in her home country. Among the many honors she has received, Makoni was named a CNN Hero in 2009.
CNN: You have experienced some of the worst deprivations, yet you are standing, saying "listen to me, it can be done, we can move beyond all of this, we can start over with a new generation."
Betty Makoni: Definitely, I'm coming to confirm that. People are looking at big organizations like the United Nations, SADIC or EU. They don't come to your house when you are being raped, they don't come to your community when you are being stopped from going to school.
Action begins with an individual girl like myself who was adopted into a good girls school and I said: "I've got the brains but no money, allow me in." It was my voice, so it is that voice of an African girl we are trying to say "let it come out."
So, I think let's enable; the girls in Africa, the women have been disabled, they've received handouts, they've been given fish to eat instead of the fishing rod. But we are coming to change that, to say that there is potential we can unleash.
See more: Tribute to Betty Makoni
CNN: It's easy to say that African women's voices need to be heard but often there is a huge price to be paid when African women speak out. Yourself, in the end, you had to leave Zimbabwe and come to the UK.
BM: I left Zimbabwe because I dealt with sensitive issues like high-profile rape cases involving children, like rape is a weapon of war.
Those are not matters that governments take so easily, but I'm saying wherever you can be positioned it's very strategic for you to continue contributing. I know my life in Zimbabwe was not going to be safe, that I can confirm, but I travel globally now, there are many countries in Africa that have accommodated me.
Africa does not only consist of a small country, Zimbabwe, it also consists of the whole continent joined together. So as African women let's not give up -- even if there is a backlash we can strategically use technology to keep speaking out like I'm doing; we can set up offices elsewhere; we can mobilize other people elsewhere to support us. So there is still hope even when you are uprooted like in my case.
CNN: If there was a message that you would like the international and donor community to hear about what women in Africa need, what would it be?
BM: The best thing would be, let's go build all these offices on the ground, in villages, rural areas, in high-density suburbs, family areas and then let's open the doors. Once we open the doors the ideas will come in. Because a solution is not far from the person who is affected by a problem -- normally persons with challenges, they have got solutions of their own.