Day 4: March 27

The lucky ones.

water stat zone 1.JPGThere are over a quarter of a million Darfuri people living as refugees in Eastern Chad.  About eighteen thousand of those live in camp Djabal.  Approximately sixty percent of them are what we in the US consider children.  What is sad to realize  is that these are the lucky children of Darfur.  They are only alive because of the heroic effort of aid agencies.  Well, it is not “agencies” that keep them alive.  It is real people that risk their lives to do what seems like impossible in these logistical and security nightmares of places.  It is not a full life these children live, but they are alive.

What about the children inside of Darfur, the not so lucky ones?  Food aid, water, and medicine are running out in some places.  Walking among the children here in Djabal, I get sad because at knowing that they are not experiencing their culture as it should be.  They are not learning their parents trades.  Their futures have huge obstacles and challenges and limits.  But, they are the lucky ones.

I’m a bit tired from two traveling days and working late.  I miss my kids a lot.

Paz, Gabriel

9 replies on “The lucky ones.”

Bless you guys for doing what you can to get the word out. I am a political science major in Georgia, USA, mother of four and activist as time permits. I found you all on Twitter and have been following you on your journey. I am a member of STAND and save Darfur. What can we do to help? I am still learning how to work Twitter but I will try and RT what I get from you. I am @DoneenMills.
Keep the faith and, again, what you are doing is wonderful. Do be careful!
Doneen Mills

Hello Doneen!
Thank you! I love how we find people that want to do more. We can definitely use your help. We know how desperate the situation is for so many, so we have to act in a way that demonstrates the moral outrage that allowing this to happen should produce. Our little team here out in the field and some more back home have been brainstorming about how to have an impact by bringing together other individuals or small groups that are willing to do more than business as usual activism. We would love to have you on board, with any that join you in Georgia. One idea we have been working is strategic, coordinated sit-ins at senators’ in-district offices, for one work day. We would help with program and planning, but we would love to have teams from across the country participate, and have them be on-going, for an indeterminate amount of time. That’s a very short description of the plan, but let me know if interested. You could help for there in Georgia and/or for general planning and implementation. It would not be civil-disobedience (for now). It would be a showing of support for our leaders to do the right thing now, before more die.

Sorry for jumping on your offer to help! :)

But, being out here with these children just increases our sense of urgency. And, they are the lucky ones!

Yes, Gabe, these kids have lost so many of the joys of childhood, but they are resilient, and having a more stable academic foundation will give them more hope for their future. In your partnership with the Dream Team Sister Schools project, you are taking a major step in helping to empower the children in these camps. Are there currently U.S. schools partnered with schools in Djabal Camp? Do you know if any of these Sister Schools in the U.S. also have enrollment of refugees who’ve been resettled in the U.S.? I passed the project’s web site along to some educators with such refugee populations at their schools, so maybe they will take part.




How old are your children? It has to be difficult for you and for them.

We are so very grateful to you, KTJ and Yuen-Lin for doing this. I so wish our President could be there with you. Or at least following you on this trip. Today in his 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 your blog posts daily. It helps me – brings me closer to understanding what it is really like there for our brothers and sisters.

Our love is with you,


Hi Gabriel and KTJ,

After reading your posts, it makes my heart really ache. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about and pray for the people of Darfur. Especially the little ones – they deserve a life of love and abundance – not hunger and disease. I am very very sad, but thank God for people like you who’ve sacrificed so much to go out there. We at In His Shoes and Fr. Vazken have been praying for all of you and at every opportunity directing people to SGN.

God’s blessings be upon you,

Thank you and Fr. Vazken and all at In His Shoes for being so involved in helping Darfur. You are so right. The kids in these camps and in Darfur don’t deserve this. No matter the politics and complexities, children should be respected and allowed to reach their potential. Again, thanks for the work you do, and we’ll see you back in CA soon.

dearest gabe,

hang in there, brother. i follow your work with blessings and many prayers. i have written to katie with some ideas of how i can help, lacking as i do money or resources (or legs). hope it’s okay.

with all love from me and all your friends and supporters over here.


Dear Carole:

Thank you for your support and for again offering to help. It’s really going to take so many of us coming together and finding a way to be louder as a group.

Carole, I have one request. Well, it’s two. First, could you write, in very simple terms (and relatively short on words–less than a page), what would happen to someone, as their body starts to go downhill from starvation, from the start to the inevitable end. Second, could you do the same thing for lack of water.

Illustrating what happens to the body without the most basics of the basics might help us in connecting more with the urgency of what is happening to some in Darfur and what might happen to up to millions more, if the world does not respond to the blocking of humanitarian aid.

Let me know what you think. Again, thank you for being around!


gabe: yes! you will have said short easy to comprehend but accurate descriptions of illness and death from starvation and dehydration by monday if not before.

love and thrilled to have a task that will help.

be careful over there and god bless our darfur brothers and sisters.


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