Send a message to refugees!

Your messages of love and activism that we share with refugees often bring tears and smiles to the faces of our friends who have suffered for five years. It is your words and images that provide them with the essential human connection that gets lost in the isolated desert. Without your messages, they would lose hope all together.Please leave a comment below for our friends in the camps, and we will pass them on each day. Our field team will check back daily for message to share with the refugees they meet.

James Thacher

James is i-ACT’s web and graphic designer and main video editor. As a full-time staff member, he also does a little bit of everything to keep all the projects running.

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55 Responses to “Send a message to refugees!”
  1. JC says:

    Hello I-ACT Team!
    I wish the entire team success and good fortune! and hope all you set out to do is accomplished ;)
    My family looks forward to seeing your stories and perhaps seeing how some of your now good friends are doing. Say hello to all the children and family for us and let them know they are not forgotten.
    Gabe, it’s probably your B-Day in the country you are in. So happy birthday, y espero que tengas mucha salud, paz y tu trabajo siga adelante y superando cada ano.

    Viva I-ACT,
    jc

    • Gabriel says:

      Thanks, JC!
      We can’t wait to get to the camps. Waiting in the capital is always the toughest part of this trip…well, at least one of the toughest and some of the times. We will definitely say hi to the children and families on your family’s behalf. They really love to hear that others are thinking of them. And, gracias! Yes, it has been my birthday for quite some hours out here, but I don’t feel any older :)
      Saludos a toda la familia!
      Abrazo,
      Gabe

  2. Nick Jewitt says:

    Hi, saw your note on the Facebook Group “Genocide Awareness”. Thanks for going and doing something positive and in doing so representing some of us who are currently unable to do that. I spent some years in Uganda and in my later time there had a little to do with survivors of the Rwandan Genocide, one person in particular. What can we say to people who suffer so much? Only that a few of us care about their suffering from such injustice which we would so much like to be changed. It’s not much, but you can pass our hugs to them.
    At some point I’d like to know more about the practicalities you’ve had to deal with in getting involved in this way.
    Cheers
    Nick

  3. Gabriel says:

    Hey Nick,
    Thank you for your note and for what you do and have done; it all counts! If everyone, or most of everyone, would do their part–and it doesn’t have to be huge–then so many of the suffering you talk about would be prevented. We will pass on your hug to the refugees, and I will soon write a little about how I became involved in this movement.
    peace,
    Gabriel

  4. Muriel Adler says:

    Katie-Jay, you came to Kol Shalom in Portland recently, and we were so impressed with your dedication, your devotion and your drive. You inspire us to keep doing whatever actions are possible for us (it never seems like enough). Please express our love and support to the families you see and tell them that our families here are connected to them in every way. We’ll be in touch as often as possible.
    With love and gratitude,
    Muriel

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Greetings Muriel!
      I will be sure to pass on your message of connection and family. It means so much to our friends here to know that they are not forgotten. Please continue to find ways to stay motivated and to share your daily courage with the world.
      Much Peace, KTJ

  5. Jeff Howell says:

    Scott and Colin,
    In the midst of all the difficulties you must be facing every day–travel, heat, food, shelter–I’m sure you’re dealing with some deep issues about not just life, but all of mankind.

    How do we humans allow such hells to develop on Earth? for a start.

    I just had a Cape Cod Human Rights Academy meeting, and sitting there listening to all these idealistic kids, you’d think for a moment that we’re bound to lick such problems as Darfur or Burma or human traficking. And yet, like you guys, having been at this for a while, we know that we’re just scratching the surface of human consciousness and empathy. Even knowing that fact, we persist.

    And some, like you, and Gabriel and Katie-Jay don’t just persist–you’ve got your body and soul on the line. Mad props you to you all.

    • colin says:

      Hey Howell,
      Thanks so much for your comment.
      It’s hard to understand how people living in the same global community as us could be capable of such awful things. No doubt that we’ve all struggled with this question over and over again. Sometimes it makes us doubt what the idealism and empathy of people like this kids at your meeting can really achieve. But you’re right, we persist. And it’s this persistence that separates us from that evil and defines how we want to see the world.
      Thanks, as always, for your support.
      Colin

    • scott says:

      Jeff,

      Great to hear from you. As always, your comments are right on. And I’ve talked to you about the difficulties that I’ve had continuing with all this. But as Colin said, we don’t really have another choice. We need to get more idealistic kids, educate the ones we already got out there so that they’re taking effective action, and keep refining our actions. We just can’t settle for anything less.

  6. marv steinberg says:

    Gabriel and Katie Jay–our thoughts and prayers are with you. I was so busy getting materials ready for our Camp Ko families that I forgot to include a personal message. So give them my love and let them know that they are in my thoughts and prayers every day. Prayers were said for you and for Darfur in church last Sunday and will be said again this Sunday. Looking forward to talking to you Friday night. Peace Marv

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Thank you Marv! For your thoughts, and we will be sure to pass on your prayers to your family in KO!
      ktj

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Marv!
      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and please thank all our friends in Redding. We will pass on your message to refugees. We always mention Redding as an example of a community coming together to act. Talk on Friday!
      Peace,
      g

  7. Reuben says:

    TO EVERYONE ON THE TEAM:
    PLEASE KNOW THAT EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING IS BEING WATCHED AND APPRECIATED BY MILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD. WHAT YOU DO IS NOT IN VAIN. MORE THAN ANYTHING, THE CREATOR KNOWS OF YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND BLESSES YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR EFFORTS AND PRAYERS.
    I, TOO, SEND PRAYERS TO YOU AND FOR YOU. PLEASE LET MY AFRICAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHAD AND SUDAN KNOW THAT THEY ARE IN MY PRAYERS ON A REGULAR BASIS. THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN! AS I PRAY TO THE FATHER, HE HOLDS EACH OF THEM IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND AND LOVES THEM WITH THE PUREST LOVE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH EVIL THE GOVERNMENT IN SUDAN LODGES AGAINST THEM. THEY WILL REGAIN THEIR LAND AGAIN. THIS I HOPE AND PRAY.
    THE GREATEST THING I CAN DO IS PRAY! AND THIS I DO FOR ALL OF YOU, KNOWING THAT WHAT I PRAY FOR WILL BE DONE IN GOD’S TIME. I PRAY THAT THIS WILL COME SOON.
    A BROTHER IN AMERICA WHO THINGS OF YOU ALL MORE THAN YOU KNOW.

  8. Jessica says:

    I just want you all to know that I check in on you every day…even though it’s from across the world. My heart and spirit are with you out there every single day and our brothers and sisters in Darfur are always on my mind. I wish I could be there and hopefully one day I will be, but please let them know that there are still people here thinking, praying, and doing their best to help end their suffering. We want to see them overcome this tremendous obstacle and thrive with their families once again. Please let them know that we love them and are with them in mind and spirit every moment of every day. God bless you guys out there and thank you for giving a face to all of us over here who have not given up on the idea of peace, freedom, and love!

    • colin says:

      Jessica,
      Your thoughts, prayers, and action will surely mean so much to the refugees. We will be sure to deliver your message. That there are so many like yourself whose minds and actions are constantly with those who are struggling is the greatest tribute to our resolve in providing safety and protection. We will let them know that nobody will give up until we see them return to their homes in peace.
      Colin

  9. Jenna Fox says:

    KTJ, Gabriel, Scott, and Colin:
    You are amazing. Thank you so much for keeping us updated, and giving us a chance to connect with those who we fight to help every day.

    Please tell them that their strength is awe-inspiring, and that they are in my STAND chapter’s thoughts and our prayers every single day. We wish that the things we have done so far were enough. We wish that they were already home and safe. From thousands of miles away, we truly love them as much as if they were standing in front of us. Tell them that we will not give up. We will continue to fight for them until they are home.

    God bless.

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Jenna, We will be sure to pass on your message of hope. Please thank your STAND chapter for all their efforts, and love. They are needed as much as our team’s here.
      Paz, ktj

    • scott says:

      Jenna,

      Great to hear from you. I’m glad your STAND chapter is fighting on. Colin and I realize we’re lucky, and we’re here not for ourselves, but representing the thousands of students that have taken action on the isue. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to transmit your sentiments. We’ll keep working as long as they do.

  10. Mam says:

    Muy queridosy apreciados Gabriel Kate J y su compania espero que en este dia se encuenten ya en esa tierra caliente Habla el Angel y que puedan desembolverse para sus actividades Aunque sobre todo Tu Angel y el de cada uno intervenga para mover la accion Para elbien de todos los que estan ahi ya te escribi ayer he inclui tu felicitacion por el dia de tu nacimiento Sabiendo que es tan corta la vida Diles Ya ALTO a la maldad y el abuso de los hombres.Y peros nO SON PERMITIDOS DIOS MEDIANTE Y QUE PRONTE LA OBTENGANlos Se los dijiste ya desde hce muchisimo tiempo Dijo el Angelito GAIB YA
    Love, Mam

    • Gabriel says:

      Hola Mom!
      Gracias por tu nota y gracias por ser tan positiva siempre. My mom has always been supportive of my work out here, even when it cannot be easy for her to know that I might be in some relative danger. I know that there’s so much of her in me, and that’s why I’m doing this work.

  11. Jessica F. says:

    Hi guys~

    It’s so inspiring to see you out there again after what happened last trip. I feel honored to know you and pray for your safety as well as for the success of the work for those you serve. We are excited to see the faces of those beautiful people at the refugee camps. We will be thinking about you non-stop.
    Colin and Scott- thank you for going and for your heart in this matter.
    Katie-Jay and Gabriel- we love you and look forward to seeing you again soon (especially Boston :)

    Love,
    Jessica

    • Gabriel says:

      Jessica!
      We think about Miah and you and lil one a lot. Miah is such great company. We miss his sense of humor and his sense of humanity. Thank you so much for your positive thoughts and prayers. I hope we get to see all of you soon.
      hug,
      g

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Hey Jessica!
      Hope Boston is doing well! Now back in Boubou land, I wish I had one too – does he still fit in it? Can’t wait to see you again – perhaps in CA perhaps in Utah!
      Much peace, and thanks for the continuous support!

  12. ashis brahma says:

    Dear KTJ, Gabriel, Scott and Colin

    All the best in my beloved Chad

    Wish you a safe return and an amazing interaction with the refugees

    Paz

    ashis

  13. carole says:

    to my dearest african brothers and sisters,

    from around the world, i hold you in my heart each minute of each day. i carry you as if you and i were one. because we are one.

    i pray for food, for shelter, for safety, for your homes, for protection to you, for a return to your peaceful lives soon. may our Father answer all our prayers.

    please do not give up hope. we are all with you, the whole world. our leaders are beginning to listen to us. we won’t stop ever until they DO SOMETHING.

    my love falls on you like gentle rain,
    carole, in the united states of america

  14. Ali Khalil says:

    Hi Familia,

    I’m not really happy because i miss my best friend from the refugees camp( Farchana, konougo and Iridimi) but i still hope to see their picture throught the SGN Team Broadcast Connection as our Mission is to ” Send materials from Regular people to regular people”
    Please Gab, Tell me what about ( yilen and give me his email address).
    Please we are pray everyday for you to return safe and able to achieve the mission.

    Bless

    Be in touch

    Viva I-ACT Team

  15. Dawn says:

    Hi from Idaho,

    I know things are hard for everyone these days. I have been with you sence the tents on the campus. I wanted everyone to know that people do care and share and that is the Sun and the warms smils that is recieved on this end of the world. Never give up and always remember that we are here for you and we will always care. To everyone who is Family we love and miss you.

    Dawn

  16. Elly Simmons says:

    Dear Gabriel,
    My family’s wishes to all in Chad and especially to beginning a relationship with the refugees with Tents of Hope San Geronimo (and Lagunitas)!

    Happy Birthday! Mine was the 11th and I had friends and family come down and help me finish our Tent of Hope for the Fairfax Festival this weekend.

    I will print out your communications and share it with the people of Fairfax and West Marin, California. Thousands come to this playful and wonderful summer festival and we are having the tent set up inthe middle of the baseball field (how American!), and will be distributing information on Darfur and hopefully raising funds!. Kids will paint the inside of the tent.
    Best, Elly Simmons

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Elly!
      Thank you, and happy birthday to you! We are so glad that your community is a Tents of Hope community, and that you will be connecting with a Darfuri family. It is so important that the voice of the victim be heard. We get so involved in our day to day activities that sometimes we forget that there are real people that are in great danger every day. It is so heard to walk in their shoes, when we are so far away and living such a comfortable life. We hope that i-ACT becomes that connection for communities like yours that want to do more and feel more.
      paz,
      g

  17. francesca roveda says:

    Hi Team,

    It is inspiring to watch you as you make your way back to the villages.
    Our connection to the patches was strong and we are so glad to see
    that you have found them. We are sharing your videos with everyone we know.
    We wish you a safe journey.
    And most of all we wish the people of the camps safety, food, and shelter.
    Please tell them that our hearts are with them and we are working in our way
    to help..

    francesca and the Tents film team
    from berkeley, california

    • Gabriel says:

      Francesca!
      We thought about you so much, when opening the suitcase with the panels. We told Scott and Colin the story of how they were lost in the US before they were long in Chad. The situation out here is not good, so your wishes are very much welcomed. We will be in touch. We loved your short film!
      Gabriel

    • Katie-Jay says:

      Thank you Francesca for your everlasting support for the whole team! Please continue to share the inspiring stories of the refugees!
      Much love, ktj

  18. Cathy says:

    Colin,

    I’m so glad you are finally ready to visit the camps! Please tell the children, mothers and fathers in the camps that when they see your faces, they are also seeing the people following your trip who have not forgotten them. The chldren’s pictures show the brutal reality of what they have experienced and inspire us to work on their behalf. Please give them hugs for me.
    Love,
    Mom

  19. Ali Khalil says:

    Hi I-ACT,

    I know that you will be busy with the camp at these time and i need to give a certain kiind of help like holding a camera and filming around during you interview people. and my God tpo be with you along the day with the hot sun as i knew a couple of months ago.
    And i thing that through Obama and I-ACT the Darfur genocide will stop as soon as possible. and we pray God that one day those people go back to their countries and countinue with their habit and tradition and enjoy their garden….

    Viva I-ACT

    ALI

  20. Ali Khalil says:

    Please Gab,
    Through this message i am giving all my greetings and hope to all the refugees in all the camps for a new hope through the OBAMA Presidency and i would to ask them to support OBAMA and pray fro Obama to bring the Change that all the conflicts in Africa will end forever.

    Viva I-ACT

  21. Dawn says:

    One step further on a journey of love and faith. Keep up the great work!!!!!
    May the Man upstairs take care of all who are there.
    Love and miss you tell everyone Hi!

    Dawn

  22. Diane Gandee Sorbi says:

    Please let everyone you meet know that they are not forgotten. So many people, including myself, think about them every day and pray that they will be safe, and that one day soon they will be able to return home and live in peace.

    Take Care,
    Diane

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Diane:
      Thank you for your message to the people in the camps. We will pass it on (if we do make it to the camps). Many do feel forgotten, since they have been sitting in these camps for five years, and they see little hope for peace in their land. But they do all to remain positive, since they care so much about their children and the future that awaits them. It is up to us, regular people around the world, to help them get back home soon.
      Paz,
      Gabriel

  23. Joanne Leslie says:

    Dear Gabriel and everyone,

    I’m glad to see you closer to the camps and safely out of N’jamina. I loved today’s video with the art work from the Petaluma and Darfur children. Such a contrast, and both so poignant. Please tell the mothers and grandmothers in the camps that it is for their children and grandchildren and mine that I refuse to abandon my efforts to get the genocide stopped. Everytime I call the President about the genocide in Darfur, which I do daily, it is our children’s future that I have in my mind and heart. Please especially greet Fatma for me if you can. I think it is Fatma we were in solidarity with yesterday during our fasting.

    Much love,

    Joanne

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Joanne!
      We’ve had some obstacles on the way to the camps. I’ve always liked to call obstacles “opportunities to be creative,” but this time the obstacles are really pushing it! I feel the same as you. What we are doing in our efforts to help the children of Darfur is very much a way to help our own children. I do not stop thinking of my kids while I’m out here. I do not want to standby and let them live in a world that allows other children to be abandoned. We will pass on your message (if we do make it to the camps) to the mothers and grandmothers in the camp. It is taking us longer to get to one, but we are working on it. Thank you for your unending support.
      Paz,
      Gabriel

  24. Paula Tavrow says:

    Dear Gabriel and the team,

    Thanks for continuing to remind us of the realities of Darfur. It was particularly moving to see the pictures drawn by the children of Darfur in comparison with those from Petaluma.

    Is there any way that these could be preserved? Perhaps by placing them side-by-side on a website so that the whole world could see them. To me, the number of images is very potent. It helps to convey how many children have witnessed (and probably been traumatized) by the violence there. Somehow it strikes me that these images by the Darfur children are historic documents that need to be displayed. And the contrast with the Petaluma kids is remarkable.

    Have a productive, safe journey. I admire your courage and compassion.

    Please let the children know that we all wish they could return to their homes and have a safe, happy future.

    Warm regards from beautiful Westwood,
    Paula

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Paula:
      I will pass on your message to the children…if we can make it to the camps.

      I was there when the children painted on those panels, but it still had an effect on me to go through them and talk to Scott and Colin about the tragedy of having those kinds of memories be what the children of Darfur have so present in their minds. My own kids have such a different life. Gabo draws cars and trees and his family. Mimi reads books and sends text messages to her friends. I am glad that they get to see that other children in other parts of the world are not as privileged as they are. We are so lucky to have been born where we were.

      Thank you for caring and for doing so much yourself, Paula.
      Hug,
      Gabriel Stauring

  25. Sharon Washington says:

    God said, ”But they lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence,” Prov. 1:18-19.
    Their hands are around their own throats:
    A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, ‘Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.’ The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large, round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long
    handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, and because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, ‘You have seen Hell.’ They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew, which made the holy man’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, ‘I don’t understand.’ ‘It is simple,’ said the Lord, ‘it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.’

  26. gina says:

    Our family understands your situation. We know you are defenceless. We will continue to hold your hands and unite with others’ around the world, in raising our voices and making a stand against the inhumane massacres on innocent Darfurian, until you return to a safe home.

    We donot understand the Sudanese government. We know that their is NO justification! Just pure EVIL! We understand that we must move FAST! There are millions of people around the world who are actively working to Save Dafur. There are many who REALLY care and are praying for your safety and are worried about is there enough food to go around.

    We know that we need more people involved! We believe everyone can help to make a change. Anyone who can talk, write or type! We will participate and support i-ACT in it’s efforts to educate and spread awareness.

    Love from: The Stauring Family (Juan Carlos, Gina, Alexi, 17 years old, Andrez, 9 years old and Brandon, 4 years old.) Redondo Beach, California

    • Gabriel says:

      Hello Gina:
      Thank you for your beautiful message to the refugees. I wish we had been able to pass it on already, but I know that we will sometime in the not too distant future. Give my love to all the family.
      Gabe

  27. Kathleen Scott says:

    Dear Refugees,
    As military actions disrupt your region, my heart is heavy with the thought that you are now even more cut off from aide and from the rest of the world. I feel close to you when Katie-Jay and Gabriel can bring us news of you and let you know we are thinking of you. But I also know our thoughts are not enough, our ACTIONS must follow. I pray we do not disappoint you again this year as we have in the past.
    Your Friend,
    Kathleen

    Hi Selma, I hope to help you start a small school where you can teach the younger girls what you know.

  28. Anne says:

    Dear Family,

    Our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers are with you. It would be small comfort to you all to know that those who suffer the most have the most potential to bring a light to the rest of the world. Because of your suffering we all must ask ourselves what we can do and what we should be doing to help. We must fight hatred with love wherever we are. Even in the land of plenty (Australia) we still have to fight hatred with love.

    We honor your suffering and in our hearts we wash your feet with out tears. To watch your suffering is almost unbearable and I cannot comprehend how you endure.

    You are in this world to show us all that we are lacking in love – we are family – regardless of our country of origin. We are ONE and it is a lesson for us all.

    Your lives are so important to all of us in this world… we love you.

    Anne

  29. Bridgette Woodbury says:

    To all refugees,
    We in America take so much for granted. We seem like we have it all but we do not. We have somehow lost touch with our own humanity. You all are inspirations to me. Relating to your suffering is nearly impossible for most Americans because we just don’t ever see the catastrophes you endure daily. We see your lives in works of fiction or on the big screen. It does not excuse our lack of interest, and pursuing a united front to end genocide as a nation. I will spread the word every day for each American to do their part and stop your suffering. Your strength and endurance through such horrific times shows how amazing you really are. I pray you will continue to have hope and strength in the continued hard times ahead.
    Love and peace,
    Bridgette

  30. Alex says:

    I would like to tell everyone going through this devastating time, that I as an American am sorry and disappointed that we have not done out part. I have just joined STAND I plan to make a difference. I also wanted to let you know that I may not know you but I love you and I pray for you more than myself. I hope we can stop this and you will get to live a happy life. But remember that God is always with you and never loose faith. You are all strong and I will try my best to help you all… God Bless and be strong for this shows us that you are all very brave and as far as heroes go all of in this refugee are my heroeas.

    God Bless,
    alex

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