My Answer (Reasons #42 thru #47)

Why Darfur? I can’t even guess how many times I’ve been asked this question over the last six years.  When I first started becoming an advocate for peace in Darfur, there was not this united front by activists, and we really didn’t know exactly what we were doing, or at least I didn’t.  I do know that I heard about Darfur, and I felt a need to act, even if in a small way.

“Why Darfur? Why you?” I was asked this by a congressman in DC. Without thinking, my immediate answered was, “Because I’m a father” (#42).  That’s my own best answer, but I think everyone has a best answer.

Are you a student (#43), like the kids we’ve been visiting the past days in the camp?  Shouldn’t the young people of Darfur have a right to a future just like you, beyond the confines of a refugee camp?

Are you a young woman or a girl? (#44 and #45)  Think about Rouda, who was taking care of her frail grandmother all by herself, at age twelve.  Her grandmother died, and — at thirteen — Rouda was married off.  Her family first gave her to her grandma, to help grandma and to also be one less mouth to feed, given their limited rations.  Then the grandmother dies, and she is given to a man.

Compassion (#46).  Compassion is not about feeling sorry for someone.  It’s about sharing in the passion, the good and the bad, experiencing their joy and their suffering, and then letting that motivate your actions.

Sorry for being preachy.  My mom always told me I would have been a good preacher (not that I agree).  But, after days spending time with the kids in the camp, I wish I knew the answer, the exact answer, on how to get others to care about situations like Darfur and the real people that are behind the numbers.  Are we all human? (#47)

Peace,
Gabriel

Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009.

He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change.

Comments

comments

Category: Day 7: December 15 · Tags: ,

Comments

3 Responses to “My Answer (Reasons #42 thru #47)”
  1. gina says:

    Aloha, Gabe, Katie-Jay and James:

    We have been supporters and advocates of SNG since the beginning.

    We have been following the i-Act Expeditions.

    I would like to say to the Darfurian refugees, my family and I think you are very beautiful and dignified people.

    My children, Alexi (20 years old), Andrez (11 years old), and Brandon (6 years old)
    are always so amazed how well the children behave. In the town hall meeting segment, they noticed the speakers retained great composure; the students were very intelligent, articulate and spoke very good English. If fact, Andy said he would be crying and screaming for help, food and security, if he were to stand up.

    Surprisingly, tbey asked for books and more schools. He says, “They are smart!”
    I believe, if one is faithful… Doing the same thing over and over. Consistently
    doing the right things. Never giving up.
    Only the positive things will come. This is our hope for the Darfurian refugees.
    The SNG team tirelesslywith compassion and faithfulness, works towards
    spreading awareness, along with many, many, American’s and people around
    the world.

    It the midst of the holiday season when giving is a priority ….The Dalia Lama
    quotes “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them
    humanity cannot survive.
    In America, whenever our human rights gets stepped on, we cry, “Oh, our
    humanity!” This is our nature and common to people ever where. We are all one.
    We all have desires and wants. We’ve all been through hardships and have
    been in need. We’ve also been blessed and have been helped. Please translate your
    appreciation and compassion into deeds by fighting these CRIMES AGAINST
    HUMANITY, by giving the gifts, of your voice or in helping the Darfuri’s survive
    and finally get home. We must continue to be faithful and true!

    Love and aloha,

    Juan Carlos, Gina, Alexi, Andrez and Brandon

    • ktj says:

      Wow, Gina and family, thank you so much for your kind words and faith. I will be sure to pass the on to the refugees when we are in the camps tomorrow. It has been so wonderful to have Lexi as part of the team in our meaningful work. And thank you for the reminder of the Dali Lama’s words, around this time of the year they are especially needed.

      peace, ktj

  2. Gabriel says:

    Thank you, Gina and family!

    Yes, as Andy says, the kids are so smart! They want to continue studying. They fight and you can see that they will grasp on to hope for a better future, no matter how hard it is to hold on.

    Aloha to everyone! Miss everyone!

Leave A Comment



c