Camp Djabal has become so familiar to followers of i-ACT. Here we see improvements made in education–uniforms, cement buildings with built-in blackboards, and desks! The team also updates CommKit with MacBooks! They deliver Kindles and voice dictionaries to help the kids learn more English. Watch the video and open yourself to what is Camp Djabal.
I have a cold which includes a headache, and I’m feeling miserable in one hundred degrees plus weather, and I’m breathing this fine sand with every step I take, and then we make it to Adef’s house. His two youngest boys, Abdelmouni and Gabriel, also are sick and surrounded by suffocating heat and breathing the fine sand around them and fighting a losing battle against flies, and this is their home.
Adef regularly walks a long distance to tend to a garden he planted away from the camp. His tomatoes failed, and Achta says that food rations do not last thirty days. When Achta gets up, Adef takes over holding the now sleeping Gabriel and starts swatting at the flies — too many. Adef and Achta are warm and welcoming and affectionate. From the first time I met Adef, I connected with him, maybe because of how I see him hold his children, the way I think I hold mine.
Adef wishes he could go back and defend his real home, Darfur, but life in the camp would be too difficult for his family without him.
P.S. I now write this sitting on a bed in an air-conditioned room. I took cold medicine, after eating and drinking two bottles of water.
Guisma’s eyes have seen what no child should ever see. Her home was destroyed. Brothers and sisters died. Most of her life lived as a refugee, with little hope for a safe and nurturing future — but Guisma still smiles. Guisma is Darfur, bombed and oppressed — but still beautiful and resilient. You have the opportunity to participate in creating a better future for her and all of Darfur. By participating, you shine a light on Guisma and Darfur’s road to peace. Episode 1 begins to tell Guisma’s story, when her life drastically changed. Episode 2 coming soon.
Peace, Protection, and Justice for Guisma and all innocent civilians in Darfur is the goal, and conditions on the ground is the only measuring stick. Sign on to this campaign in demanding immediate action by our leaders, using Sudan Now’s Darfur Roadmap to Peace as a guide: sudanactionnow.com/?node/?80
NOW ACT! sudanactionnow.com/?take-action
The story is based on information collected from a Darfuri family now living as refugees. The animated images are inspired by drawings by Darfuri refugee children.
For more: thisisdarfur.com
We always ask the people we meet what they miss about Darfur. The refugees have given a diversity of answers that pant a beautiful picture of a calm and peaceful life of agrarians and villagers. They speak about their fields, the herds that the boys watched over during the days, and the marketplace where they traded what they grew. Many remember growing Millet or corn, tomatoes, okra, and watermelon.
This year Darfuris have managed to grow a bit of these things outside the refugee camp. There was a lot of rain, which only ended about three weeks ago. We have attempted to visit our friends Achta and Adef several times, but both are away at gardens. Achta leaves each morning to work a field that is close to the camp and continues to watch the children while Adef travels very far and won’t be back for a while.
When we asked what they miss most about Darfur, the adults and older teenagers give the same answer mangoes and guavas. They don’t have fruit trees here and up until this year I hadn’t seen any watermelon. Now it grows on their roofs and fences! From what they describe, Darfuris had both fields near their homes, and fruit trees littered through the village. They were sustainable and what they did not use, they traded or sold in the market.
Unfortunately, one answer we are getting more and more is that they don’t remember what Darfur was like. This is mostly from teenagers who fled when they were seven, eight, or even ten. Their memories of Darfur, after seven long years of living in a camp, are lost.
The camp is full of children under 10 who are too young to remember more than being tied to their mothers backs during the journey to Chad. What will their life be like in the future? Will they only learn to farm far from their homeland or will they have a chance to return and learn the traditional ways to survive sustainably in this harsh environment? For the sake of humanity, I hope its the latter.