i-ACT team members Gabriel, James, and Estelle depart on Saturday March 19th for i-ACT’s tenth trip to the Darfuri refugee camps on the Chad-Darfur border! Buky Williams, Coordinator of the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, will join i-ACT for their two week journey.
The team’s primary trip goal is to deliver the second CommKit to Camp Goz Amir and check in on how our students and teachers are fairing with their kit in Camp Djabal. Check out this video of them in December 2010!
CommKit is a two-way satellite-based communication system that allows refugees who are completely isolated with little-to-no infrastructure to connect via an online social network with U.S. schools. By the end of this trip 30 U.S. schools will be connected with our friends in the camps!
The Darfur Dream Team and i-ACT will be facilitating a live School Assembly on Tuesday March 29, 7am PST/10am PST. It will be posted here and at www.iactivism.org/live. Whether you are a student, teacher, or an interested community member you can meet the Darfuri students and interact with them through facebook, twitter (#askdarfur), and a chatbox during the Assembly. We will be live for approximately 30 minutes. This is a great opportunity to have the Assembly on a projector in a classroom or have individual students participating at your school’s computer lab! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about this.
i-ACT will also be delivering ten Kindle eReaders to primary and secondary schools in the two camps they visit. They will be charged with the CommKit solar panel/battery system that our engineering guru Eric created! Thanks to community support, we loaded them with classics in French, English, and Arabic. The students have been asking for books ever since our first trip in 2005 but it’s almost logistically impossible to bring them enough to quench their thirst. This trip we will test whether Kindles are a viable option. Imagine the eReaders in the hands of thousands of Darfuri students–they can literally hold the power of their future in two hands!
One of the most important things that our team will do in the camps will be to simply connect with the people. They will be posting Expedition reports daily–photos, videos, journals, quotes–that tell the story of the people of Darfur. We will hand out cameras as part of iOnGround and we will be able to see the refugees’ lives through their eyes. The voice of the refugee and their hopes for the future, and thoughts on peace and justice, is all too often left out of our conversations. i-ACT offers a chance to bring their voice back in.
I invite you to join us on i-ACT Expedition 10. Tell five friends. Post this message on facebook. Re-tweet something Gabriel writes. Most importantly tune back in during the next two weeks and listen to what the refugees themselves have to say.