Camp Oure Cassoni
Mahamat’s story is one of thousands of Darfuri children. Unless we act to return him to his home, and, as his mother says, keep a fire under Bashir, he will never know another place but the run down schools and fields of Oure Cassoni. Someday soon, his home might even be one of those whose has been swallowed by the harshness of the desert, forcing him to move once again.
The present and future athletes below the age of 18 make up 62.9% of those struggling to survive at Camp Oure Cassoni. These athletes are the future of Darfur.
Two-year old Mahamat, like many, was born in this camp, and has never seen his homeland. For him, his life has never been different from the blazing heat, idle waiting, lack of water, and a shoeless and hungry existence. He has never known a home not organized and run by an aid agency, or food not handed to his mother once a month. He has never seen his mother self-sufficient.
Last month we provided a glimmer of hope for Mahamat, and all the refugees living in Chad and Darfur. Moreno-Ocampo’s announcement brought joy and rejoice to the desert camps living at the end of the earth. But like the international peacekeeping force, the announcement and it’s response by our leaders also ushered disappointment. If you were Mahamat’s mother, how would you feel about providing such a life for your children?
These future athletes, and supportive parents, need us, the audience, to spread the word quicker than the sand takes their homes. They need us to ensure peace, protection, and justice. If we don’t, we are letting these athletes down, as we would our own children.
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