Darfur Olympic Venues
For five years children have attended school in tarped, stick structures. They have spent their morning break on this basketball court, and soccer field, playing with anything they can find including plastic bags filled with sand, old soda cans, and metal wheel frames. Their swing sets have no swings, only a few pieces of a chain where a seat once was. These children share the dreams of the Olympic hopefuls. To one day be somebody that the world cares about and watches grow.
As 16,000 Olympic Athletes begin to move into the 66 hectacre Beijing Olympic Village, here in Oure Cassoni, the farthest North, the farthest East of all the camps in Eastern Chad, the children remain stagnant, playing what games they can with the little hope and many dreams they still have.
In China, where the government has continued to sell weapons and extract oil, athletes from their ‘One World’ begin to gather to fulfill their dreams, dreams that do not include those of the Darfuri’s left in the desert. China has personally built, specifically for these games, a residential area with 22 six-floor buildings and 20 nine-floor buildings, as well as a clinic, restaurants, a library, a recreation centre, gyms, swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts and jogging tracks. Darfuri’s continue to live in the same tattered tents that constantly battle harsh winds and a burning sun. For these athletes, there are no libraries, or restaurants, or swimming pools. Their clinic is overcrowded and understaffed; their diseases are malaria, meningitis, and yellow fever. Their dreams are not included in the ones that China speaks of.