I am happy to be in double digits on this fast and for me the end is in sight: I know that in 9 days it will be over, for me.
This morning when I was thinking about that I realized that those in Darfur have no end in sight. No belief that it will ever end. And they have no idea we weep for them. Or fear for them. Or struggle to know if any of this will make a difference. And as I write this, more than one child has died. More than one woman has been brutally raped and humiliated. More than one man has screamed in agony as he dies, unable to protect his family from the Janjaweed and the government backed killings. As I write this I gasp at the horror of what I’ve written. And the horror of it reaches my soul.
I don’t usually write this graphically. But I’ve seen the poverty in Rwanda, I’ve walked past genocide memorials where there are thousands of bones and skulls stacked neatly representing the dug up mass graves. I’ve seen the skeletons frozen with lime and the faces of agony in death. In Israel, I visited Yad Vashem over 25 years ago and saw the aftermath of the Holocaust. And while seeing is believing, too much of that only causes people to look away. Which doesn’t help. So know I come from a place of knowing as well I can, considering I’m a white woman safely living in the U.S., who has seen enough to know we must do more. I co-founded the foundation for Rwanda because I knew I must do more. I have traveled to Rwanda six times in 3 1/2 years.
Richard Branson has taken over for Mia Farrow in the FastDarfur campaign. She can no longer continue due to health reasons. It is good she is stopping. Richard Branson will become another spokesperson for this cause. It is a sacrifice on his part. On the FastDarfur website he states:
“I’m honoured to be taking over the fast for the next three days from Mia Farrow in her courageous stance to support the people of Darfur. Over a year and a half ago, I travelled to Darfur and was horrified by the stories that people of all ages shared with us. Young children had watched their entire family get killed and then had to survive on their own in unimaginable conditions. I was humbled and inspired by the courage of the Darfuri people and the commitment of the aid organisations that were working on the frontlines. Now, with 13 aid organisations expelled from the country, over 1m people are at grave risk. We cannot stand and watch as 1m people suffer. We all need to stand up and demand that international aid is restored and that the people of Darfur are protected and given the chance to live in peace.”
This is not easy and no amount of money makes you feel better when you can’t eat. And the people of Darfur can’t eat. And so we stand in solidarity with them.
To raise our voices and raise awareness.
Have you been moved to call the White House? (202) 456-1111 Don’t worry if you don’t know what to say. Say what you believe about the atrocities being committed in Darfur and ask the President to help restore humanitarian aid and end the genocide. You cannot believe what a difference our calls are making. My brother called and was told by the operator that they’re getting many many calls and THAT is what it will take: the American people saying, “Enough”. (you don’t leave your name – it’s the issues they’re tracking). If you want to write the White House, go to my blog for Day 11 and get the info.
Feel uneducated about Darfur? Watch this 20 minute video on SaveDarfur.org for excellent background and history. Darfur: A Call to Action – Lessons from Faith Leaders.
We can do more. And we will. I stand with the people of Darfur.