It’s been an exciting day in the MADRE office – our partner, Malya Villard-Appolon, has been named a 2012 CNN Hero. Malya co-founded KOFAVIV, an organization that works to end sexual violence and provides direct aid to survivors in Haiti.

Her deep personal investment in this issue comes from experience; Malya survived a brutal rape during Haiti’s years of political turmoil.

Can you imagine our excitement? At MADRE, we work with extraordinary women and activists every single day. Their actions change lives, but to much of the world, their work is completely invisible. They struggle for others, for their families and communities. They’re not in it for self-promotion.

So when Anderson Cooper announced this year’s CNN Heroes and said Malya’s name, we were all gathered around one tiny computer screen, beside ourselves with joy to see Malya and KOFAVIV’s incredible work receive the recognition it deserves one hundred times over.

As I write this, Nancy, our Program Assistant and Helping Hands Coordinator, is watching social media, re-tweeting CNN Heroes and telling her friends and family about Malya’s journey. Elizabeth, our Membership Coordinator, is painstakingly submitting her ten votes for the day, determined to do her part to help Malya and KOFAVIV win $250,000 dollars so they can continue their work with survivors and run their Women’s Center in Port-au-Prince. Sahita, our Program Coordinator, is reaching out to Malya herself, making calls from New York to Haiti, in Haitian Kreyol!

We could not be more excited to see Malya and KOFAVIV’s work honored this way, and we have you to thank. Your support for their work and ours has been overwhelming, and we could not do any of this without you. You can’t possibly know how deeply and sincerely I mean that.

Want to help Malya and KOFAVIV win $250,000 to continue their life-saving work with women and girls in Haiti?! Vote! Ask your friends and family to vote! Have daily CNN Hero Voting Parties! You can vote up to 10 times per day, per each email address that you have! If you’re the proud owner of 3 email addresses – say, personal, work, and school – then you can personally vote for Malya 30 times per day. That is ridiculous. I hope you’ll do it. Believe me, I will!

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