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!
This is a great video from Ali living in Camp Djabal.
Hello my friends, how are you?
Here is my farm. I am plaphing [clearing] it from grass and also I grew flowers and Okra and Dura. Can you show me your farms in a video? You asked me how I cook the Dura. Yes, first I take it to mill to grind it, then I put a pot on fire with water. After boiling I pour flower, then I mix it until [it] becomes ripe. Then I make salty to eat with it really its delicious food! your friend Ali
After meeting his long time friend Adam’s new twins, Gabriel and Katie, Gabriel reflects on friendship and the dream of a future peaceful Darfur. Adam will travel with the team as a translator and mentor for the players.
Hello my friends Student Task Force,
How are you doing? How is your schools going? Here are videos of students studying in library. Really they use the library by good way. but we missed kindles. I hope that you will bring us kindles to support our library so as to make our job better.
Thanks. Yours, Rahma
The i-ACT team has posted many blogs, photos and videos to darfurunited.com!
It has already been an emotional journey for all involved because this team will represent so much more than a game. Our podcast, Hit the Ground Running, includes i-ACT’s arrival in Goz Beida, travel to Djabal and a visit to the local restaurant to see what players will be eating. Our team meets many of the hopefuls upon arrival and to look in their eyes there can be no denying what a spot on the Darfur United Team would mean to them.
Hundreds gather around the goalie tryouts and it is clear what Darfur United will mean to every Darfuri man, woman and child. The players rise at dawn to avoid the midday heat as they vie for coveted spots on the team that will carry the word to the world at The Viva Cup.
We share the simple yet all too important joy this game and this team will bring to our friends as we see the women watch the team as they collect water for their families early each morning. They too rise at the crack of dawn to assure a first spot in line at the water point before their long walk back.
The team hopefuls speak for themselves in our Sound Off’s as we get to know the young men trying out and our first is Sulieman Adam Borma who shares his feelings with the watching world. Coaches Brian and Mark share the anticipation of announcing the 15 team members and 5 alternates who have made the team. There is tremendous joy in sharing the news with those lucky 20, but also a profound sadness about ending the Darfur United dreams of 41 other players who learn their fate one by one. Coach Brian’s blog captures the emotional roller coaster of reactions our Darfur United hopefuls experience as they take in the news.
For many the team journey has ended, yet they will never be the same. They know something now: they are not forgotten and Darfur is indeed United. For the 20 who have been chosen to represent the pain and triumph of so many years and lost lives – the journey has just begun. Please help them carry the word…….
On Behalf of the i-ACT Team, Stacey
In this episode, we finally land in Goz Beida and travel to Djabal camp to see the 20 or so players who have already arrived. We meet them at their temporary tent camps and then see what they’ll be eating at the local restaurant. Coaches Mark and Brian even get a chance to see some of the Djabal players in action.