Returning to Chad: Thoughts and Reflections

I’m sitting at my dining room table walking through many of the same steps that I did prior to our last trip in January/February 2008: sending emails, writing the daily action items, scanning the news for the latest reports from both Chad and Sudan.And with each click of my mouse, and with each search I make, bad news covers my screen. Sudan is deteriorating at the fastest rate it has since I started working on this issue. One of the many factions of Darfur rebels, JEM, reached the capitol early this month and launched its first ever attack on the capitol since 2003. Using this as an excuse, the military proceeded to move house to house, pulling Darfuris, mostly Zaghawa, from their homes and executing them in the streets to make a threatening point to others. Scores more were arrested, probably to be tortured and killed under government supervision. And just a few days ago the Northern Government of Sudan attacked, Abeyei, a strategic town in Southern Sudan, which experts say might lead to the resurgence of the N/S War that raged for more than two decades.

And worse, the rains have begun and food rations have been cut to 1200 calories. Those who have survived thus far are facing worsening conditions that threaten their survival.

The situation in Darfur, Sudan, and the entire region is worsening as we sit at our computers and click online petitions to thank our presidential candidates for making a joint statement. These actions are absolutely necessary, but we can be doing more. Gabriel reminded us of Adam’s words, and I will remind you here once again:

“We have no hope except international community…Without your help we see no hope. United Nations and Security Council they are supposed to do more. No Talks. We need action. We need work. Our people are dying. Every day the news we are getting from Darfur the situation there is destroyed. People are escaping. People are suffering. People are asking the international community for help.”

We need to be doing more. It’s easy for me, and probably many of you, to get wrapped up in my activism and dedication to the world, and put to this before myself. I know that many people stood with Gabriel, Josh, Jeremiah, and I while we were caught in the military coup attempt in February. And I know that for many of you it’s hard to see us return. Thank you for your support. And thank you for standing with the people of Darfur. I assure that I am confident it in our return trip, and feel it absolutely necessary to end the violence.

As I look through action items available on the web, and collaborate with other Darfur groups, I find myself wishing that we had more opportunities to get involved and take action. We need more creative. We need more of the voices to reach decision makers. We need to be doing more to end this genocide. So I make this commitment for i-ACT June 2008: This will be the i-ACT that changes the movement. I will do everything I can from the field and via the web to spread the voice of the refugees so that it enters thousands of email boxes and reaches the hearts of every reader, at an international level.

I invite you to do this with me. You have been a huge support and source of hope for many survivors of the genocide, and so I ask you right now to Become a More Committed i-ACTivist – an increase of energy and dedication now is what will make the difference in the lives of every Darfuri everywhere. It has been too long.

In Peace, KTJ

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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4 Responses to “Returning to Chad: Thoughts and Reflections”
  1. Nell Okie says:

    I’m with you, KTJ!!!
    In Peace, Nell

  2. Kathleen Scott says:

    It makes me sick at heart that you are returning to a worsening situation instead of a triumphant celebration of peacekeeping and recovery.

    Sound bites by politicians continue to substitute for action. Only those who take action for peace and freedom can claim to be world leaders.

    I’m proud of you for following your heart and sticking by the people of Darfur in their time of hopelessness, for serving as a witness to their lives and tragedy. We all need a witness and someone to love us through our dark days.

    I’ll be with you every step of the way.

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Thank Ommi,
      It’s so important to you have by my side. Without your strength and dedication to the world, I would not be who I am.
      with love, ninnie

  3. Leah says:

    I am new to the site, but I read your statement, “We need more of the voices to reach decision makers.” & that’s exactly what my website is for! To tell their stories | to know their stories. I would love to be part of your support network or get more of these stories out. Their voices need to be heard. I will definitely be tuning in for more of your reports and sharing any pertinent information on my updates page. If you have experiences from the camps or the refugees, I would also love to share them on my “Tell your story” page. I will be mailing any stories I get to the president as well.
    Please let me know what i can do! Thanks! – leah – http://www.betheirmessenger.org

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