Changing the Way Things Are

I spoke with Umbda T. about the R2E Library that will be coming to camp Goz Amer on our next trip. He loves the idea and sends his thanks to those involved in this project.

In our many conversations with Umbda, he often talks about the need for the refugee children, including his own, to learn about how they are just the same as any other person around the world.  He told us that, right now, the children and many of the adults believe that “this is how life is supposed to be,” referring to a limited life in a refugee camp. They believe they have no rights or power over it.  The violence and difficulties they have experienced, “it’s just the way things are.”

Umbda is a strong believer in the power of education. He is a teacher at school, and he teaches English at home in the afternoons.  He then teaches his own children about Darfur and about the world in the evenings.  His oldest daughter wants to be a doctor, so she can help her people. His oldest son wants to be pilot, so he can fly.  Umbda says that, even with his son as a pilot, he would not get on one of those big metal machines that goes up in the sky.  Change is good, but trying to fly – for a change – that he is not willing to try.

Gabriel

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