I have been working with Camp Darfur and host groups for several years now. Students, communities, faith groups and all around activist rock stars have all helped bring the camp to their community. Camp Darfur at ‘Iolani was by far one of the most meaningful and impactful on the local community that I have been involved with. Twelve students, not in a club, or class, or who even knew each other six months came together to first work on a video.
Wanting to do more, they brought Camp Darfur to their campus. This now tight-knit group of students hosted over 1200 students, teachers, and community members during 2 days of Camp Darfur. They created individual name tags with an individual Darfuri for every visitor. They gave overviews of each genocide, discussed the children’s drawings, and gathered more than 700 signatures for both their Senators and President Obama. Here is one poem from a student:
I’m running through the jungle, fleeing, scared of the gun,
but when your whole country’s after you to where can you run?
I’m irate; my mind state is an angry attitude
at the false hope preached to me in empty platitudes.
At every single latitude, bullets fly through the sky.
Horseback attack forever burned in my mind’s eye.
I cry, why did I survive when the gun spat?
But it don’t matter cause I’ll die when they come back
mix feelings, hate, sorrow, anger and confusion,
is that God laughing at me or just the blood I’m losing.
Hallucinations, I see millions who don’t care;
they continue on with their lives completely unaware
of the things I’ve witnessed. You’ve seen it I’ve lived it:
my wife and children burning alive in a demon’s visit
and no one will ever hear about me when I die.
I’m just a lost scream in the statistic of this genocide
(written by Junior High student, Matt)
Erin writes in a reflection, “One of the most outstanding moments was when a jock and his friend were visiting the tent and were not really paying attention and by the end of me talking to them, they were both emotional. I could tell that they felt guilty for their ignorance and lack of taking action. After they looked at the photos for a few minutes, the jock turned to me and said, “What can I do to help?” That may not seem like much, but that meant the world to me. Our mission of Camp Darfur was to educate people about the genocide in Darfur and to see a high school jock, who knew nothing about the genocide, become a member of humanity, who thoroughly cares about the situation in Darfur, was amazing.”