I received an email today asking, “What can WE do about the situation in Sudan?”

Great question!

As far as i understand it, it’s a tough situation over there, pretty complicated, and the full resolution of the crisis depends on a lot of political moves, decisions, compromises of the various parties involved. But what is definitely lacking, espeically in America, is awareness of the genocide, and resolve to do whatever needs to be done to stop it. What I mean is, most Americans seem to care about who wins American Idol, but don’t even know there is a genocide occuring in Africa that is STOPABLE. They care that their gas prices go down, and the economy is good, and their particular political leanings don’t go unnoticed by their elected representatives, but a Senator’s or Congressperson’s action or inaction toward the Darfur situation in no way swings their vote. This needs to change, and our representatives need to know that we will not re-elect them if they are not active in this fight. So, building awareness, and writing letters/sending emails to your local representatives, the White House, etc., as well as getting all of your friends informed and doing the same is a big help right now. It shows that there is a growing group of Americans who care about this issue.

Go to SaveDarfur.org and sign their “Million Voices For Darfur” postcard, and sign up for their email list, which will keep you informed as to the situation in Darfur as it progresses, and what you can currently be doing to stopit.

Secondly, we can donate to organizations who are making a difference. If you don’t have any or much money of your own (welcome to my life…), BE CREATIVE! Put on a benefit concert, host a bake sale, lemonade stand anyone? I would also recommend some intentional personal decision-making, like holding off on certain luxuries (starbucks frapuccino’s, designer jeans, whatever) for a couple weeks or a month, and putting the money you would have spent in a jar or somewhere, and then at the end, give it as you see fit. This is super rewarding, so easy, and incredibly helpful. Our money goes a long way in Africa. =)

SaveDarfur.org is currently taking contributions to help raise awareness and to take care of the refugees that have been pushed out of Darfur into neighboring communities and countries. There are a number of other organizations to support:

Students Against Genocide is currently selling “Stop Genocide In Sudan” t-shirts out of the Claremont Colleges in Southern California — I saw a lot of these at the rally in DC, and they actually look really cool =) I want to get one, but you have to buy in bundles, so get some friends together and order a bunch of them. Their proceeds go to various organizations that are helping in Darfur.

The International Rescue Committee delivers lifesaving aid in emergencies, rebuilds shattered communities, cares for war-traumatized children, rehabilitates health care, water and sanitation systems, reunites separated families, restores lost livelihoods, establishes schools, trains teachers, strengthens the capacity of local organizations and supports civil society and good-governance initiatives.

The Genocide Intervention Fund will combine fundraising for the UN-supported African Union Mission in Darfur (AMIS II) with efforts to pressure governments to pursue a comprehensive strategy to end the genocide in Darfur.

Oxfam is helping over 600,000 people in Darfur and Chad, working with communities to fight the spread of disease and save lives. They provide vital clean water, build latrines and washing facilities, and distribute essential items such as buckets and jerry cans for carrying water, soap, sanitary cloths, clean clothes, ground sheets, blankets and plastic sheeting for building shelters.

American Jewish World Service is a non-sectarian group whose funds are helping to rehabilitate water sources, construct sanitation facilities, and provide basic health care and other essential humanitarian services, including a service program for children orphaned by the crisis.

I hope this provides some direction. =) It is a tough battle, but the battle brings peace.

Ecstatic that people actually care,
Dan

Advertisements