Gration: We don’t have all the monitoring mechanisms that we need yet

Yesterday, Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration and National Security Council Director, Samantha Power sat down with Jerry Fowler of the Save Darfur Coalition and Layla Amjadi of STAND.  They discussed a wide range of topics regarding the recently released policy by the Obama Administration.

Click here to watch the complete webcast.

Gration:  We don’t have yet all the monitoring mechanisms that we need.  When the NGOs were expelled, we lost some very valuable NGOs that we have not gotten back in yet…  And the fact is that while we’ve been able to compensate for food and water and healthcare and sanitation, some of the protection NGOs have not been able to get back in…

For us to objectively verify, we’re going to have to have different types of NGOs on the ground and more of those NGOs on the ground. And we’re going to have UNAMID with more freedom of movement and the ability to monitor better what’s happening on the ground, so that we can take action.  And those are the things we’re working on right now.

Other highlights that stuck out at me in this illuminating conference include:

  • Samantha Power mentioned that  everytime President Obama has sat down with Chinese President, Hu Jintao,  “this issue has been discussed”.
  • And Scott Gration mentioned that “a major impediment to [Darfuri] people returning home is the ‘pschological stuff’.”

I’m glad senior officials in the Administration recognize the deep impact of such trauma and how that affects peacemaking.

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Great American Write In and Rummage Sale tomorrow

Hi everyone,

Orange County for Darfur will be having a booth at the Great American Write In tomorrow from 9:30am – 1pm. I have included more info below in case you are not familiar with this event. In order to get more help for Darfur (quickly), we need help in getting as many signed letters and post cards addressed to Congress as possible tomorrow. Your attendance would be greatly appreciated!
Also tomorrow morning and conveniently close to the Great American Write in, Woodbridge High School student Maia Boitano and their campus chapter of STAND are hosting a rummage sale. Proceeds will benefit STAND, Doctors Without Borders and Steps of Hope Orphanage. In addition to the great deals offered at the rummage sale, Maia got an amazing number of prizes donated, so be sure to buy a raffle ticket when you are there. For complete info, click here. (7am – noon – Woodbridge H.S. – 2 Meadowbrook, Irvine, CA 92604).
See you tomorrow!

Fax President Obama!

 

Help Genocide Intervention Network and STAND by sending President Obama his 50-day progress report through an e-fax.

It takes only seconds but will have a lasting impact.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Teens Learn About Genocide and Activism

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Photograph by Stop Genocide Now

Toronto high school students giving a presentation for their “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity” class were heckled and pelted with paper airplanes by fellow students until one classmate finally said “Enough is enough”.

It turns out that the hecklers had been instructed by their teacher to behave in such a manner. It was simply an exercise planned by the teacher to see whether the kids would remain obedient to authority despite committing acts they knew were not right.

The “Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity” course encourages Toronto teens to defy the stereotype of the apathetic, uncaring youngster by “up-standing” rather than by-standing.

According to teacher Mitch Bubulj –

You just have to offer a course like this to see the best in these teenagers and I’ve seen it. Students want to do the right thing and they get angry at the injustice.

They get that it’s not a joke.

For more teens unwilling to stand by while genocide occurs, check out STAND – the student-led division of Genocide Intervention Network.

Rummage sale for Darfur

Hi everyone,

Below is a message from Maia Boitano, a junior at Woodbridge High School in Irvine.  She’s organizing a rummage sale for Darfur.  Last year Maia raised over $3000!!!

Because of her zealous, devoted efforts, she was recognized by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  I hope we all can support her again this year.

Anshul Mittal
Orange County for Darfur

UPDATE: The rummage sale is now scheduled for Saturday, April 4th from 7am till 12pm.

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Maia Boitano

Maia Boitano, front center, and the Woodbridge High School STAND chapter.

My name is Maia Boitano and I am a junior at Woodbridge High School. My Darfur Chapter along with a history teacher at our High School are hosting a Rummage Sale.  The rummage sale will take place on Saturday, March 14th April 4th from 7-12. During my freshman year we did the same rummage sale and we raised nearly $2,300. Last year we raised this sum and made 3,000 dollars.

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Clinton Ready to “Sound the Alarm”

Yesterday, standing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for her confirmation hearing, Secretary of State nominee Hilary Clinton called ending “human devastation in Darfur” an aim of the incoming Barack Obama administration’s foreign policy.
This is an area of great concern to me, as it is to the president-elect. We are putting together the options that we think are available and workable.
Upon her arrival to the hearing, Clinton was met by 15 student activists belonging to the anti-genocide organization STAND. These individuals were there to kindly remind Clinton of her previous strong words for Sudan and its president Omar Al-Bashir. However, Clinton appears to be in no need of reminding – stating that she is ready to “sound the alarm” about the Darfur crisis.