Darfur: What can one person do?
A friend e-mailed me today.
My daughter gave me a green bracelet for Channukah. It says: Not on My Watch, Save Darfur. I have dreams about talking to God about Darfur. God says people can solve it, I can't solve it.
Where do I send money? What can one person do?
Feeling entirely inadequate, I wrote back.
My understanding is that the big problem is getting food and supplies to those in Darfur who are actually suffering. Not to say that sending money or contributing in other ways is pointless.
My first answer as to what to do would be to pray, although you are obviously doing so already and getting pretty much the same answer I am. I don't expect it will solve anything, but it will certainly help you be in touch with Reality.
My second answer would be to stay informed. I like these web sites, for different reasons:
http://www.darfurinfo.org/ (seems well-informed)
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/sudan0504/ (I trust them)
My third answer would be to write to your political representatives and tell them you want the U.S. involved in solving these problems. The more informed and personalized your letter is, of course, the better. You might also contact Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Frank Wolf, who visited Darfur last summer and produced this report, which includes recommendations:
Somewhere in all of this there may be a better place to contribute money, but Human Rights Watch seems like the best recipient at the moment on Darfur, from what little I know.
I'm sure none of this is particularly earth-shaking, my friend. If you find out anything more substantive, please let me know.
Although I didn't say so, whenever I consider tragedies like this, I wind up praying that someday, I might be in a position to actually do something, like go and put food in the hands of people who are starving. My life is too damn easy! (And if I really believed this, I tell myself, I'd have to acknowledge that I'll probably never be in a better position than I am today!)
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