i-ACT Begins 21st Trip to Darfuri Camps
By Gabriel Stauring
It is now 20 more trips than I thought I’d be making to Darfuri refugee camps. 10 years ago, on what we called i-ACT (short for “interactive-activism”), we headed to the Chad-Sudan border with cameras, a computer, and a satellite modem. Our mission was to deliver 21 consecutive same-day webcasts, posting blogs, pictures, and video from one of the most remote places on earth—hoping to put a face on the numbers of dead and displaced from Darfur.
10 years later, we are now on i-ACT21, and we are again determined to put a face on the forgotten crisis in Darfur. Join us on this journey.
More than half a million people have been displaced in Darfur over the last year alone. For those that have made it to the refugee camps we visit, conditions are getting more and more difficult. They are experiencing severe food rations cuts, going from 2,100 calories per person, per day to 800 or less. We will be talking with refugees and humanitarian workers about their hopes during these desperate times.
On this trip, our team will go back to camp Goz Amer, where we will be working on the scaling up of the Little Ripples preschool program, and we will then head to camp Djabal, where we will do additional trainings for the Darfur United Soccer Academy coaches.
Please let us know if you have any questions, thoughts, or suggestions as we visit our friends in the camps. Thank you!
By Felicia Lee
Two flights, one layover, four movies, two television shows, and a couple of unintentional naps later, we’re in T’Chad!! I’m so grateful we made it here with all our bags, and with our entire team intact. I love this country already. I love how there is no sense of personal space (at least in the airport) and how people are so skilled at pushing their way through the crowds. Those who know me may think I’m being sarcastic, but I actually did enjoy the closeness of the airport customs and baggage areas. It just felt so…human, I guess; just a big bunch of humans clustered together and jostling to get to their luggage. I really enjoyed the drive to our accommodations, as well. Staring out the window like the epitome of a first-time visitor that I am, I wished we could stop the vehicle, get out, and hang out with the numerous groups of people just congregating in the middle of the sidewalk. It looked like fun! I can’t wait to see N’Djamena in the daytime tomorrow. For now, my mission will be to magically become sleepy (my roommate and I are completely wide-awake, seeing as how it’s not even 4pm back in California), so that I can wake up well-rested for i-ACT21’s first real day in Chad.
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