Hello Friends & Familia:
A year ago, I spent New Year’s in Eastern Chad, where hundreds of thousands of Darfuri refugees have been living for years. I did not really get to celebrate New Year’s. This year, on my fourth trip to the camps, I am also close to departing but do get to celebrate with my family before leaving. My mother, brothers, and sisters with their families will come to my home, and we’ll eat, drink, listen to music, and be together.
I have so many mixed feelings about returning to the camps. We depart LA on Jan 14, and the first day of i-ACT will be on Jan 19. You will be able to be a part of this, watching daily video webcasts and participating on our blog. But, to really be a part of i-ACT, we will be asking you to act and make hope a reality. You will be asked to do as much as you can to make a difference now for these beautiful people that continue to be in grave danger.
Check out the video for i-ACTzine issue #4. In it you will see and hear Samantha Power, genocide scholar and activist and beautiful person herself. She connects the dots between past and present atrocities and speaks about our responsibility to act. This becomes even more crucial, as the world gets close to letting another promise to send protection come and go. The year 2008 was supposed to start with a large “hybrid” force (UN and African Union) stepping in to the deathtrap for innocent civilians that Darfur has been for five years. The force that will be taking over in Darfur will be no where close the 26,000 mentioned in the UN resolution, and it will be under-trained, under-equipped, and will not have a mandate strong enough to protect civilians. We must hold our leaders accountable.
Thank you for being a part of SGN and i-ACT. See you from Chad!