Day 4: March 27 Take Action

Day 4 Action: Get Creative

No more activism-as-usual. We have tried that for the past six years. Get creative for Darfur! i-ACT has collected hours of video , thousands of photos, dozens of drawings and testimonies from Darfur refugee camps. For today’s action we are challenging you to step outside the status quo Darfur action box. Using these resources what are creative ways that you can use these resources to reach your community? All of our content is under Creative Commons License – please feel free to use it and let people know where you got it! Here are some ideas to get your energy moving:

Create a t-shirt design and enter it in a contest: Design by Humans or Threadless
Write a song or rap (or cover a song) and play it with a slideshow of Darfur children: An Example by Greg Lawson or from a Darfuri

HOPE?Create a poster, collage, sticker, image…to hang in your community, in streets, in bathroom stalls, on cars (magnets!), everywhere! Post it on the web FREE and share it!
Replace the front page of your local paper with the REAL NEWS: Check out the LA Times cover page!

We need new ideas. We cannot accept the status quo from the Government of Sudan, and we cannot accept the status quo of activism – we need new angles, new actions, things that will push our movement forward. We need to step things up. We can’t expect our government to take a stand if we are sitting at home. Yes,  Wake Up, Brush Your Teeth, Call Your Leaders, but also step out of your box and come up with a new idea. Post it here – however different or out there it might be!

10 replies on “Day 4 Action: Get Creative”

I just sent this letter to President Obama through and will also send it via USPS to

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

The last time I wrote a letter about the emergency regarding the Darfuri people and the NGOs being expelled form Sudan since March 4, 2009, I received a response that President Obama is working on the economy. I found this very disappointing that my letter received a response that had nothing to do with my letter’s subject.

Please, tell me if there is contact information for the Sudan Special Envoy Scott Gration.

And furthermore, please inform the President of two United States citizens who are in Chad now through April 1st including at trip to a Darfuri refugee camp and posting daily journals and videos from there. They are Gabriel Stauring and Katie-Jay Scott. Here is a link to Day 4 of their time there:
They are also on Twitter:

We are so very grateful that Gabriel and KTJ are doing this (their seventh trip) for the Darfuri people and for us to be better informed. I so wish our President could be there with them. Or at least following them on this trip. Today in President Obama’s online “town meeting” while talking about health care, his mother and his appreciation for nurses, he mentioned his daughter Sasha having meningitis when she was younger. I know that is one of the diseases showing up in the camps. This is a connection he has with the Darfuri people. But his family wasn’t living in a refugee camp with doctors ordered to leave.

I so appreciate reading the daily journal entries from Chad of these three dedicated USA citizens who care so genuinely for our Darfuri brothers and sisters. It helps me – brings me closer to understanding what it is really like there for the Darfuri people.

Genocide has never happened without the complicity of millions or billions of human beings going about their daily business.

Today a comment was left at my “Dear President Obama – A Letter sent March 12, 2009” on Youtube regarding Darfur by a 24 year old which reads: “As important as this is President Obama needs to sort out our economy before we go trying to save other countries”. I respectfully disagree wholeheartedly. I believe President Obama is quite capable of doing both.

There is not enough money in the world that can give us back our dignity if we continue on the path of least resistance regarding this human disaster of the Darfuri people that now has heaped upon it another disaster with the expulsion of the humanitarian aid people.

Please really read this submission. Genocide will stop when enough leaders use their will to make ways to end it. My hope is that President Obama will reach into his heart and realize that although “’we’ are the ones we’ve been waiting for”, we need his leadership to help we citizens move forward on this true crisis of our existence as the human race. We are counting on Mr. Obama to do what he said:

The United States has a moral obligation anytime you see humanitarian catastrophes.. we have the most stake in creating an order in the world that is stable…and when you see a genocide whether it’s in Rwanda, or Bosnia or in Darfur – that’s a stain on all of us, that’s a stain on our souls…. We can’t say ‘never again’ and then allow it to happen again and as President of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter… I was the first along with Senator Brownback to focus on ratcheting up sanctions and getting an envoy in there who was serious. We worked diligently to get the Darfur Peace and Accountability act passed…I think the level of commitment and the way that I’ve spoken out on this issue indicates not only knowledge but also passion in bringing an end to this crisis. It’s very encouraging to see activism based not on self-interest but on moral imperative…We can’t say ‘never again’ and then allow it to happen again and as President of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” November 2007

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Hammel

“The Most Important Office is That of Private Citizen” Louis D. Brandeis
“Now, Let’s Go Change the World”. Barack Obama

Right on Sandra! Keep it up sister. I think your response back to President Obama was deserved. Does he not even read our letters? Why open your mailbox to the public if you are only going to send a form letter about another subject back to the citizens of this country. That does not sound like “unstinting resolve” to me. As I said in a previous post, Obama will not receive my vote if he does not act for Darfur.

This proves we must be more robust and loud for Obama to hear us.

WE WOULD LOVE GRATION’S CONTACT INFO IF ANYONE CAN FIND IT! Please do pass it on! It would be a great to have us all pressure him to act quickly on the policies that Enough Project has laid out for us.

Please others write your leaders too! Both in the United States and abroad. We must keep constant pressure on them.

Thank you Sandra for your unstinting resolve!
peace, ktj

No, he does not read our letters until they have been cleared by the Secret Service and his office assistant. This is the way it has become with the President of the United States.
Because of the high volume of letters received by the office of the President and how many are threats or contain substances that are harmful, all letters must pass through vigorous searches before getting anywhere near him. Most are responded to with a publicity picture and a form letter about how nice it is to see youth involved in their community and activism. This is a problem I have often bumped into during my years of activism, particularly if I mention school or my age (19) in the letter.
Perhaps if we write a high enough volume of letters, some may make it through. We need to speak out.


dearest katie,

i so wish i could be there with you to help. i am still available to post medical updates in comprehensible language if you need me. so far it appears that malnutrition, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis and other infectious diseases are the big enemies. please let me know, maybe when you get back, if i can help.

please be careful!!!

love to you and gabe and yeun-lin,

Carole! Thank you so much for your help! Gabriel wrote you on another page with a few suggestions that would help people understand the effects of the medical emergencies the people of Darfur are experiencing!

peace, ktj

Wish I had any culinary skill- lots of senator’s birthdays recently. Could give them a cake with questions on it. Or even on a non-birthday…

This is a very good idea – out of the box. What if you sent your Senator even a birthday card, and said something like, “Wishing you all the best on this day. As everyone deserves a treat on the day they are born. Do you think that the children of Darfur receive anything for their birthdays? Please do more for our brothers and sisters in Darfur.”

or something like that! good idea Tessara!

best, ktj

The expulsion of aid agencies from Darfur in reaction to the ICC’s indictment of Sudan’s President Al-Bashir came as no surprise to veteran Sudan-watchers. While Al-Bashir may have shot himself in the foot in the eyes of the international community, his insistence that humanitarian aid be “Sudanized” carries a significant message.

International NGOs (INGOs) working in Sudan have, without a doubt, eased the misery of millions of Darfuris over the six years of their operations in the region. Their field staff handle difficult work in a hostile, unpredictable environment. However, their purported mandate of local “capacity building” has been seldom acted on.

From a statement released by the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan on 24 March 2009:
“Expertise in technical assessment, planning, programme design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation has been lost. This capacity, and the associated institutional memory and contextual knowledge, cannot be replaced easily or quickly. As such the quality or programs – even those that are taken on by others such as national NGO – could suffer.”

Few countries would be prepared to respond effectively, on their own soil, to the massive destruction and violence that has occurred in Darfur. But after six years of international humanitarian intervention, one could reasonably ask why so many Sudanese organizations remain so ill equipped to take up the tasks left by the expelled agencies.

I know from my field missions that many well qualified Darfuris crash into a glass ceiling at the mid-management level in humanitarian aid. I’ve seen Darfuri organizations treated like unwelcome guests in their own country by turf-tending foreign aid organizations. I’ve watched the colossal charade of funding allocations by the UN — with procedures so baffling as to automatically exclude anyone not a member of the “club.”

I’ve had a disturbing look at the UN’s vast lot of four-wheel drive vehicles, parked with apparently nothing to do. To my continuing disappointment (I’m long past outrage), I’ve been a target of relentless campaigns by Darfur advocacy groups. Few donors understand – or evidently seek to know – that money donated to many of these organizations never leaves the US. It most certainly has done precious little, over the past harrowing six years, to ameliorate the profound suffering of Darfuri women and children who make up 80% of the population of IDP camps.

It’s not too late to redirect the flow. In fact, it’s urgent that we enable qualified organizations that can operate in Darfur by shoring up their financial resources. Darfur Peace and Development Organization ( – the only Darfuri-led US-based NGO still operating programs that make a tangible difference in Darfur – is my choice. I’ve seen how much is doable, and it keeps me coming to work every day.

Susan Burgess-Lent
Program Director
Darfur Peace and Development Organization (DPDO)

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