While Camp Darfur may seem exhausting and it’s definitely labor intensive, I love taking the Camp to various community events, schools, and universities. It’s one of the greatest educational and outreach tools i-ACT has to educate and empower everyday people to take action to end genocide.
Earlier this month, I unpacked our Camp Darfur materials from the garage and loaded up my car for the first time in 2014. At 7am on a Friday morning, I pulled into UCLA Community School and met 70 7th graders who had been learning about genocide and mass atrocities.
In about an hour we had the tents up and materials displayed inside. The DVDs were playing in each tent, and the students were having their final meeting before every 6th, 8th, 9th – 12th grader student at their school was going to come through the exhibit. The students had prepared their own genocide education exhibits to enhance Camp Darfur and peer educate visitors. Each group of 3 or 4 students had a presentation board about a different genocide and how it compared and contrasted to both the Holocaust and Darfur. They also had brochures they had made for their peers to take home. Visitors walked through the tents and the students gave short presentations on past genocides while connecting them to taking action today. We collected over 100 hand written letters to President Obama asking him to take action to bring peace, protection, and justice to Sudan. They gave out “Stop the Hate” bracelets to all those who wrote a letter!
Being around these kids empowered ME! They reminded me how powerful the images, histories, timelines, quotes and questions included in each tent really are. These students were so inspired that they raised almost $1,000 from their peers for our education projects, here the U.S. and in the Darfur refugee camps.
We have a busy month ahead of us. Take a look at Camp Darfur’s schedule: April 1, Soka University and Living Ubuntu’s Commemorative Film Series April 2, Concordia University and Living Ubuntu’s Commemorative Film Series April 3, New Community Jewish High School annual retreat April 6, Jewish World Watch Walk to End Genocide, Orange County