All of our sleeping has been so off. We’re awake in the middle of the night, and we just crash in the afternoon, when we get back from the camp. My afternoon dreams have been strange, full of faces from the camps, mixed with images of back home. Today we spent six hours walking around Djabal and having conversations with refugees of all ages. We often end up talking about education, even if we’re not at a school, because they believe it’s their only future.
It is sad to hear so many young people say that they not really remember their homes in Darfur anymore. For a great number of them, life in a refugee camp is all they know. From the 16,000 refugees in Camp Djabal, how many of them will this be the last place they live? We have now met babies that were born and died in the camp. We’ve met old people that escaped their homes, endured horrible hardships in their walk to Chad, and have now passed away far from Darfur. The camps are not far in distance from Darfur, but they are far in their essence.
Back at my home, I talk with my kids about their future and what they want to do. We talk about school and college–and beyond. There’s a path that we can visualize and is, in a way, real. For the millions of kids in these refugee and internal camps, are their dreams really…real?