Finding the courage

Clare Williams has dual goals of changing lives and restoring a rain forest with her new book.

Tauranga woman Clare Williamson is sharing her story of trauma and transformation for the good of the planet.

She’s determined to plant 100,000 trees in the Brazilian rainforest with funds raised from her soon-to-be-released book Life Through a Lens.

The book reflects on Clare’s journey overcoming “the most devastating” part of her life, being raped whilst travelling South America in 2004.

But Clare, who works as a Life Coach and Muay Thai teacher in Tauranga, says her story is one of hope.

It was volunteering for a non-for-profit Iracambi in Brazil years later, where the process of healing begun for her.

Iracambi runs rainforest conservation projects, and Clare reckons it’s now time to give back to them as right now they are “majorly unsupported”.

“They are helping to conserve an area of rain forest in Brazil that is in critical danger of disappearing completely.

“My story is one of hope for the forest, and one of hope for people who have been through trauma.”

For a long time, Clare kept quiet about being raped, but she says speaking up has taken a huge weight off her shoulders.

Alongside raising funds for the forest project, the mother of two is eager to stand up for sexual assault victims by sharing her story.

“I kept quiet about the shame of it all, and this was so detrimental to my mental wellbeing,” she says.

“When I went to the rainforest project in 2010, I finally opened my eyes and asked why I am living the way I am.

“The book is about how we can live through trauma by changing our perspective of what happens to us so that we can find the purpose in our pain, so that we can go forward.”

The book isn’t written in a ‘how-to’ style, she says. But rather sharing her journey to help readers unlock tools and apply them to their own lives.

On Tuesday, Clare donated $135USD to Iracambi from the presales of Life Through a Lens. All funds will go directly towards planting and conserving trees.

She says rehabilitation of this particular forest will set a standard for forests facing extinction from fragmentation all over the world.

“If somebody is wondering why I’m not helping a forest in New Zealand, I would ask them what forest here they want to help? Then the next step would be for us to do it together.”

From each book sold, $5USD will go directly to Iracambi. The book is set to be released in mid-2020.

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If you require support regarding sexual violence you can contact: Bay of Plenty Sexual Abuse Support Services on 07 577 0512 / 0800 227 233

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