What’s Happening in Darfur?
Sudan is the largest country in Africa, located just south of Egypt on the eastern edge of the Sahara desert. Sudan is rich in oil, but it is not used for the benefit of the Sudanese people. Instead, while a majority of the country lives in poverty, as much as 70 percent of Sudan’s oil export revenues are used to finance the country’s military.
Darfur is an area about the size of Texas in western Sudan. The approximately 6 million inhabitants of Darfur are among the poorest in Africa with hardly any access to roads, ports, or even water sources. They exist largely on subsistence farming or nomadic herding. Even in good times, the Darfuri people live a difficult life; these are not good times in Darfur.
The current crisis in Darfur began in 2003. After decades of neglect, drought and oppression, two rebel groups mounted an insurgency against Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir. President al-Bashir’s response was brutal. To defeat the rebel movements, he armed and supported several milititant groups, now collectively known as the Janjaweed.
The Janjaweed, with the Sudanese government’s support, wiped out entire villages, destroyed food and water supplies, and systematically murdered, tortured, and raped hundreds of thousands of Darfuris.
The Sudanese government’s campaign in Darfur has been as devious as it is brutal. The military paints many of its attack aircraft white — the color of U.N. humanitarian aircraft. When a white plane approaches, villagers do not know whether it is on a mission to help them, or to bomb them. Often, it is the latter.
This campaign and the resulting disease and starvation have already claimed as many as 400,000 lives. It has crossed borders into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. About 2.5 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now live in cramped and uncomfortable refugee camps. They are completely dependent on humanitarian organizations and the U.N. for food, water, shelter, and health care.
Another 1 million Darfuris still live in their villages, under the constant threat of bombings, raids, murder, rape and torture. Their safety depends on the presence of an underfunded African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, with just 7,400 troops and personnel.
U.N. Security Council recently approved a 26,000 person peacekeeping force for Darfur. The force will replace the AU troops now in Darfur. The bulk of the force is not expected to be on the ground until next year, and the ultimate troop strength depends on the willingness of U.N. member states to contribute troops, police, logistics and sophisticated military hardware.
Dollars For Darfur
Dollars for Darfur is a national campaign that harnesses the power and energy of young people to help end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The campaign is run by students with administrative support from the Save Darfur Coalition.
As many as 400,000 people have already died in Darfur, and 2.5 million are confined to cramped refugee camps. Dollars for Darfur challenges high school and middle school students across the U.S. to raise money to bring much-needed help to the millions that continue to suffer in Darfur.
At the end of the campaign, the Save Darfur Coalition will nationally recognize the top middle schools and high schools and offer a surprise reward.
Last year, students from across the nation raised $306,000 after setting an initial goal of $200,000. We are in awe of the stamina and dedication of all the students who helped to reach this impressive number.
Let’s keep the momentum going! The new Dollars for Darfur: National School Challenge fundraising campaign will begin September 10, 2007 and conclude April 30, 2008. This year, our goal is to raise $375,000 from 2,500 registered schools.
Half the money raised through the Dollars for Darfur campaign will help bring food, water, and shelter to victims of the conflict. The other half will help the Save Darfur Coalition build international support to bring peace to Darfur.
About the Save Darfur Coalition
The Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance of more than180 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations, started in July 2004. The Coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations who are united to help the people of Darfur.
Mission The Save Darfur Coalition’s mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of millions of people in the Darfur region.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Save Darfur Coalition help the people of Darfur? The Save Darfur Coalition uses media outreach, public education, targeted coalition building, and grassroots mobilization to pressure policymakers and other decision-makers in the United States and abroad to change policy to help the people of Darfur.
Can we use the photos from your website in publications or on other websites? Yes, you can use photos from the Save Darfur Coalition website if they are being used for non-commercial projects and you provide proper citation.
Where can I get the latest updates? You will find the latest updates in the “ Learn ” section of the Save Darfur Coalition’s web site
Wait, I have more questions! Please contact us in that case.
All Information Cited From Dollars For Darfur| National School Challege