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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Choose your methods.

Although you wouldn't know it by your TV news, the genocide in Sudan is still going on. After all this time, people are still being killed. (Five hundred people yesterday. Five hundred people today. Unfortunately, five hundred more people will die tomorrow.) People are still being raped. (Women and girls are very vulnerable.) People are still hungry and displaced. (Over 2.5 million people, so far.) Although the problem is large and severe, we are not helpless. Thankfully, there is hope. Here are just a few of the ways you can help.

Choose your methods:

* Learn more about what's happening in Sudan. Consider the Genocide Intervention Fund and SaveDarfur.org. Let others know what you've learned and encourage them to act.

* Divest from the Khartoum government. Do you want your money to support an unjust and murderous regime?

* Support relief organizations that are working to ease the suffering. Many of these organizations work in Sudan with internally displaced people, and also with refugees in Chad and elsewhere. Consider CARE, Mercy Corps and Doctors Without Borders.

* Assist Sudanese refugees in the US. These folks know a lot about the situation in their home country and may be well-positioned to help friends and relatives there.

* Write a letter of concern to your elected officials. Let them know that the crisis in Sudan matters to you and matters to all of us. Encourage your President, senators and representatives to allocate money and other resources to ending the genocide and brutality in Sudan.

* Send a letter to the television networks asking them to improve their coverage of Sudan. The more people know about what's going on in Sudan, the more likely they are to act to end it.

Years from now, when someone asks where you were during the Darfur genocide, what you did to end it, how you helped your brothers and sisters who were in danger, what will you say? Act now. End genocide, forever.

"To think is easy.  To act is hard.  But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking." - Goethe

5 comments:

Eddie said...

Karama, your blog is awesome! I wish I could have had this in my high school social studies classes, when my fellow students would throw up their hands and sigh "so what can I do?", without getting a good response from the teacher or anyone else. This blog can (and probably does) do a lot of good. Thank you for posting this to raise the awareness of people about Darfur and empower them with ways to do something constructive about it.

Karama said...

I'm so pleased you like So what can I do, Eddie. One's attitude toward the world, its people and problems improves dramatically when one realizes that one can act to make things better. Thank you for hosting the Spotlight on Darfur 2. You, too, are making a much-needed difference. (Readers may also want to check out Spotlight on Darfur 1.)

I hope you'll visit again soon, Eddie, and please spread the word!

Karama said...

This just in from BeAWitness.org:

"Dear Karama,

Tomorrow, October 18 , please join thousands around the country in a National Call-In Day for Darfur coordinated by the Genocide Intervention Fund, the Save Darfur coalition, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Last year, Congress and the Bush administration declared that genocide was underway in the western Darfur region of Sudan. Today, even amidst reports of spiraling violence, Congress has failed to take action to address the ongoing crisis. In recent weeks, attacks against civilians in camps, humanitarian workers, and most recently, African Union (AU) peacekeepers, have prompted the AU Peace and Security Council to call on the UN Security Council to address the deteriorating security situation in Darfur.

Members of Congress need to hear from constituents that there is strong public support for promoting peace and accountability in Darfur. Please take a moment tomorrow to call your senators and representative and ask them to support the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act– an important piece of legislation that outlines necessary next steps toward ending the violence in Darfur. Information on contacting your members of Congress and a sample script to help you make the calls is included below.

Please pass this message on to others to multiply our message. Thank you for your willingness to take action and for your continued commitment to saving lives in Darfur.

Thank you for your support,

Brian Komar, American Progress Action Fund, for the entire Be A Witness team

Thank you for joining the National Call-In Day for Darfur! To call your senators and representative:

Contact the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and provide your zip code or ask for your member of Congress by name. You'll be transferred to the member's office.

* Look up your members of Congress
* Check if your members of Congress are cosponsors of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act

What to say when you call:

Below are two basic scripts to use on the phone. Version 1 is a bit more complex but is likely to be a bit more effective. If you don't have the time or feel uncomfortable with version 1, feel free to use version 2. Whether you use one of these or just talk to the offices in your own words, the important thing is letting your elected representatives know that you care about Darfur and that you expect them to do something about it.


Version 1

Hi, this is ___ calling from ___. I'd like to know if Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator ___ is a cosponsor of the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (H.R. 3127 in the House of Representatives; S. 1462 in the Senate).

If yes: That's great. I would appreciate a written response on what he/she is doing to make sure that this bill gets a vote before Congress adjourns this year. This is just too important to leave undone. And thank you for your time.

If no or not sure: I've heard that this is the only bill with a real chance of passing this year, and that it has bipartisan support. As a constituent, I urge Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator ___ to cosponsor the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act. Can you send me a letter letting me know if he/she will become a cosponsor? This bill is just too important to leave undone. Thank you for your time.


Version 2

Hi, this is ___ calling from ___. I would like to let the Congressman/Congresswoman/Senator know that I support the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (H.R. 3127 in the House of Representatives; S. 1462 in the Senate) and hope that he/she will too. If possible, I'd like a written response letting me know his/her position. Thanks."

You may also want to check out the So what can I do post on Be A Witness.

Vernice Jones said...

Found you through Michelle Malkin. I've linked. Great work!

http://mylittleowlet.blogspot.com

Karama said...

I'm glad you found So what can I do, Vernice, and am particularly pleased that you are enjoying the site. I hope you'll visit again soon, and spread the word.