i-ACT has been working with Triangles of Truth for over two years. Their global network of students and advocates support education projects in the camp by honoring Holocaust victims. They caught up with Alexxa Evangelista, an outstanding Triangles of Truth advocate.
What exactly are you fundraising for?
Since I was a little kid I’ve loved school and I’ve always been really involved in my community and helping others. I used to raise money for children to go to sleep away camp every year and this campaign let me continue that in another way. I just want to continue my passion for helping others and give them the opportunity to love school as much as I do.
How did you get involved?
I got involved through my teacher Ms. Kay in my holocaust studies class at Boca High and it’s been an amazing ride this far.
What has been the reaction of the community??
In my community everyone has been really shocked not only at what a good cause this is but how big we are making it and how drastic the tragedies are in Darfur. It just shows how little people know about the fatalities over there.
Why is this a worthwhile cause for teens in Florida and elsewhere to partake in?
I think this cause shows teens everywhere that there’s something bigger out there and that it’s really the little things that do make a difference and can make someone’s life just that much better. It goes to show how little we can give here in our worlds to help others do so much more.
Do you have any tips or suggestions for others looking to start their?own campaign?
The only advice I have is to keep sending it out to anyone you can think of and try to get the best results as possible, not only in monetary form but in feedback and that in itself is the real success.
Over the last few weeks, tens of thousands of newly displaced refugees have arrived at the border between Darfur and Chad. Entire families have lived through unimaginable violence, the destruction of their homes, and a harrowing walk to relative safety.
Please send a message of support and solidarity to the mothers of Darfur by recording a short, personal message (2 minutes or less), speaking directly to a mother. You can create a “video response” as a comment to our youtube video or send your video link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of May, the i-ACT team is traveling to refugee camps in eastern Chad, where some of the displaced are being transported to. We will deliver your video-messages along with some supplies to mothers and their children.
You may also contribute to Care Packages of supplies that our team will purchase locally to give to the newly arriving mothers and their families.
On Wednesday April 17, i-ACT set up Camp Darfur at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, CA. Students from Martha Kermott’s sophomore class hosted each tent and the Little Ripples information table. During each period teachers of the Upper School visited the tents and learned from their peers about mass atrocities and genocide. Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School, wrote the following email to the entire Brentwood School community about the experience.
Letter of the Week: Unexpected Opportunity
by Dr. Mike Riera, Head of School
On Wednesday, I spent some time at the sophomore History Project: Darfur Refugee Camps. I circulated through the tents representing five different instances of genocide: Armenia, Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Sudan. (See the article in Teaching and Learning for a more thorough description of the installation.) Listening to the presentations, viewing photos, and talking to our students moved me in a myriad of ways—anger, despair, sadness, shock, guilt, and outrage, just to name a few. There was a lot to take in.
The variety of these strong feelings permeated the inside of each tent. As students entered to hear the presentations, I watched their body language change from the typical adolescent stride to a retracted walk often seen when people enter a spiritual place. There was a kind of anxious reverence. When they exited the tents, their adolescent walk was slow to resume. As one would hope, their feelings and questions lingered, and it showed.
As I paid attention to students describing the various genocides, I heard a vulnerable and humbled quality in all of their voices. Whether they were describing the event or reading a first hand account, all were visibly shaken by what they were saying. Just as powerful were the reactions to the photos hanging on the walls—images of people who had lived and died in the various camps. The power of the material quite simply cut through the typical adolescent defenses and self-consciousness.
Over the course of the day I spoke with students about their various responses to Camp Darfur. They were quite similar to my own. More impressive, however, was how articulate they were in how they related these experiences to the human condition, power and influence, leadership, group think, and a myriad of other nuanced emotions and concepts. They were maturing right in front of me.
When people ask me what is special about Brentwood, besides the outstanding academics and teachers, I frequently cite the additional focus on the development of emotional intelligence. In my mind, Camp Darfur is one of those clear-cut examples of emotional education in process.
In their groundbreaking 1990 article, Emotional Intelligence, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer defined emotional intelligence as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.” These skills were on display during Camp Darfur. From presenters self-monitoring their content based on peer responses; to students ability, upon reflection, to identify their various and subtle emotions; all the way to using this information to refine and deepen their attitudes on a host of issues, including their own identities. It was profound to see this emotional growth-spurt in action.
Emotional intelligence is not a subject like math or Spanish, rather it frequently exists in the spaces between content. It can be mined and brought into the light of day for clarity or it can be left to go unnoticed and ignored. At Brentwood this aspect of learning is intentionally mined for all its potential, like what happened earlier this week at Camp Darfur.
Have a great weekend.
Thank you Brentwood School and Martha for partnering with i-ACT year after year to raise awareness and funds for Darfuri-led projects in the refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border.
i-ACT has been working with Triangles of Truth for over two years. Their global network of students and advocates support education projects in the camp by honoring Holocaust victims. They caught up with Molli Glickman, an outstanding Triangles of Truth advocate, whose 25% of the way towards her $5,000 goal. Her campaign contributions will benefit Little Ripples, an early childhood education program for Darfuri refugees.
ToT: What exactly are you fundraising for?
MG: I am fundraising for Triangles of Truth. We are a non-profit organization that aims to honor those lost in the Holocaust by remembering the victims by selling triangles in their name and raising awareness for the genocide the world is facing today, namely in Darfur. Triangles of Truth’s current project is to raise enough money to build a school in a refugee camp in Chad, in hopes to give the children there a brighter future with an education!
ToT: ?How did you get involved?
MG: I first got involved with Triangles of Truth this year through my teacher Mrs. Kay. She is the founder of the organization and this year I am enrolled in her Holocaust Studies class where we learn about the atrocities of the Holocaust as well as learning ways to prevent further acts of human injustice. When Mrs. Kay first introduced me to this cause I knew I wanted to put my head and heart into it 150%.
ToT: What has been the reaction of the community?
MG: My community has been nothing but supportive since I have begun my fundraising project. I think the most important tool to help achieve our goal is spreading the knowledge and raising awareness. The more people that we can inform of our mission, the more help and support we can acquire for this incredible cause.
ToT: Why is this a worthwhile cause for teens in Florida and elsewhere to partake in?
MG: I believe this is a worthwhile cause for teens everywhere to participate in because although we seem to be helping people in a very distant place, the very premise of our mission is an issue that affects every living human on this planet, promoting equality and human rights for every human being on this great Earth. Even at such a small scale, it begins with the idea that no one is better than anyone else. No human life is more valuable than the next. And once we can get this feeling on a global scale, I believe that genocide can be reduced to existing only as devastating stories in our history books.
ToT: Do you have any tips or suggestions for others looking to start their?own campaign?
MG: The best advice I could give to someone wanting to start their own campaign would be to have faith in yourself and the confidence to strive for your goals. Don’t ever sell yourself short! Persistence and passion are really the key, and with those two things, I believe anyone can achieve their dreams.
John and Kathleen Goldingay invite you to join in a fast for Darfur, to back up prayer for its people. We want to make a clamor that heaven cannot miss in urging God to take action to end the wrong done to this people. The fast will involve eating only what the refugees eat, for 24 hours each week, and praying.
You can find info on the typical Darfur rations and on the official fast at 100 Day Fast for Darfur. For ourselves we are making it a fast associated with prayer for Darfur. The heart of the prayer will be praying the Old Testament prayers in Lamentations and Psalms on behalf of the Darfuri people.
We’ll begin the fast on the evening of Thursday April 11 at 6 p.m. At the end of that 24-hour period, at 6 p.m. on Friday April 12, we’ll have a half-hour meeting for prayer at which we’ll begin reading Lamentations. The meeting will be at St Barnabas Church, 1062 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena (the church parking lot is at the back, entered from the alley), and all are welcome to attend.
John and Kathleen will follow this pattern in their own life each subsequent Thursday/Friday. We won’t meet with people each week, but it will be great if you are able to join us in fasting and prayer at a distance. We’ll continue until July 4-5th (you may adapt things for Independence-tide!).
As these weeks draw to an end, we invite people to a celebratory breaking of the fast with a barbecue on the evening of Friday July 5th at 6 p.m., at our house, 111 South Orange Grove Bvd. (We’re beginning a week later than the official fast and stopping a week before it ends.) There’s no need to say that you are coming or not coming for the initial evening—just show up. But if you’re coming for the break-fast, let us know!
Here are the prayers for each week. Of course they don’t exactly fit the circumstances of the Darfuri people. For instance, some speak of sin, when the plight of the Darfuri issues from the sin of others not from their own sin. So those elements in the prayers we could use to acknowledge our sin as nations who have let this event happen and let the situation persist.
April 12 Lamentations 1
April 19 Lamentations 2
April 26 Lamentations 3
May 3 Lamentations 4
May 10 Lamentations 5
May 17 Psalms 3 and 4
May 24 Psalms 5 and 6
May 31 Psalms 9 and 10
June 7 Psalms 12 and 13
June 14 Psalms 16 and 17
June 21 Psalms 22 and 23
June 28 Psalms 25 and 26
July 5 Psalms 27 and 28
John Goldingay and Kathleen Scott Goldingay
i-ACT first met Djabal’s librarian in January 2008. Gabriel was filming in a classroom and he asked if there were any students who wanted to sing a song. Rahma’s hand shot up in the air. He first sang his version of B-I-N-G-O, and his second number had a little dance. In this video Rahma shares his story, and you can even watch him sing and dance:
Year after year we have returned to Camp Djabal and watched Rahma grow. He has graduated from Primary School (through Level 8 in his refugee camp), and takes what classes are available for Secondary school. He still wants to be President of Sudan, but is also interested in being a Journalist. Upon learning that he was selected to be the Right to Education Mobile Human Rights Librarian, he shared his thoughts and gratitude:
Rahma took great pride in being the R2E Librarian. We were all saddened to hear that this hut had burned, and all his possessions and the library destroyed. We received this video in December 2012.
The refugee community came together to help rebuild Rahma’s hut, and several individuals and communities in the U.S. have given to help him replace his personal belongings. Most recently, on January 29, Human Rights Watch Student Task Force chapter at Wildwood School in Los Angeles launched a Change for Change drive to raise enough funds to replace the entire Djabal R2E Library. i-ACT and all the refugees in Camp Djabal are very grateful for their efforts and we look forward to learning who the winning class will be!