It feels cool to hear our team’s time out here in Eastern Chad called a “mission.” They ask, “How long is your mission?” “Where is your mission going?” I like to think that our mission never ends. When we get back to the US, our mission continues and, for the most part, becomes even more difficult.
As cliche as it might sound, I tell our team, and I repeat it as often as I can and as often as I see needed, “mission first, mission first!” We want to have our actions be directed by what will have a more immediate and positive and long-lasting impact on the people on whose behalf we are working for, the civilian population of Darfur.
Growing as an organization is not our mission. On the contrary, it makes sense for us to stay light, flexible, and adaptable, so that we can act immediately based on what is happening or, sometimes even better, on what we see coming around the corner. We take risks. We allow ourselves to think outside of the box. We many times go outside of our comfort zone. We do make mistakes.
There are quite a few groups that exist today solely because of Darfur, including our little team. For these advocacy or activists groups, I personally believe that it is our responsibility to be mission first, mission second, mission next, and mission always. We owe it to the people that are right now sitting in the middle of the desert. We owe it to ourselves and to our own children.