An Introduction

I’m sitting in Le Meredian hotel right now in N’Djamena. Having followed i-ACT4 and seeing Gabriel and KTJ during the coup here, it feels a bit weird. I’m trying to do as much mental preparation, but as the i-ACT team found out last time, it’s hard to know what to expect. The most I can do right now is focus on getting out to the camps and doing the best we can to give you all a feel for what it’s like there.

Reporting on the conditions in the camps and the stories of refugees is so important, especially when media coverage of their stories is often scarce or insufficient. However, as ACTivists, what is even more important is to turn this information into action. Thankfully, the whole i-ACT team has been working hard to make this easier for you, and we’ll be providing actions for you all to get involved in during our 12 day trip.

As a student activist, I feel especially lucky to be a part of this trip. Working with high schoolers in the organization “STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition,” I had the incredible opportunity to see dedicated and inspiring activism through the United States. Frustratingly, this was rarely coupled with real stories from those we were trying to help. i-ACT5 provides just this combination, and Scott and I are glad to be representatives of the thousands of hard working students back home. I’m confident that our student constituency will be active during our trip.

Scott and I are coming off of a two week trip in which we visited Zimbabwe and Kenya, two countries impacted by political violence in the wake of elections. It was very frustrating to see how governments can selfishly neglect their own people with little repercussions. What’s even more sad though, is that Sudan’s abuses make those in Kenya and Zimbabwe seem small (and they’re not!). It will be even more sad to get the human perspective of what this does to individuals and families in Sudan, but I think it is essential for the movement that all of you are leading. Now let’s do our best to make sure that Sudan’s leaders can’t continue this awful campaign without some serious repercussions.

In peace,

Colin

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