To the Upstanders
If you are still with us all this while, thank you. I know from our website statistics that we aren’t directly reaching tens of thousands of people. But at the same time, I take heart in knowing that those we are reaching – you – are the “real deal”. When the friends we meet in Chad say that their hopes lie with the international community, and often the American people in particular, they are really talking about YOU. The true upstanders. The ones who have grasped the hands of Adam, Adef, Fatna, Guisma, Alhafis, and won’t let go. The ones who persevere despite the continued failure of those who have the power to protect and restore.
Failure is not a word people like to hear, but I think that when the stakes are this high, honesty is crucial. Honesty with one another, and with ourselves. Are we doing enough? Are we reaching enough people? Are we just touching them once, or bringing them on-board for the long haul? Are there ideas we have that we haven’t taken seriously enough? Are there gaps we see in existing activism that we think are important to fill? Do we ourselves know enough about Darfur and about Sudan?
It makes me uncomfortable when people say that our efforts to end the genocide in Darfur aren’t wasted; that at least, we are laying groundwork that will help prevent the next genocide. Sorry, but I don’t quite feel ready to “look on the bright side” yet. We haven’t given this our best shot.
Friends, let us ask ourselves if we are truly rising to the challenge at hand. Let us hold ourselves accountable, just like we hold our leaders accountable. Let us petition ourselves, rally ourselves, to become the most effective counter-genocide force the world has ever seen. i-ACT and so many other projects started with small steps taken by ordinary people like you and me. We didn’t know where it would go. We just felt that it made sense, and we knew that if not us, then who? Each project can have major impact, but there is only so much that a small group can do. Imagine there were a hundred projects, driven solely by the hopes and dreams of the Darfuri people. Personally connected with Darfuri communities. Constantly sharing information and working together. I’m sure their combined impact would be much more than a hundred times one.
If you want to bounce a project idea off us, are starting a project, or already have one running, please tell us about it by posting a comment or sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to help projects connect with each other, and offer what we can to help your work.