“Don’t you just want to bring them home?” I’m often asked that when people see pictures and videos of me with children in the Darfuri refugee camps. I do bring them home with me, in so many ways. They are what keep me going every day in this often-depressing work. As any father would say, I love them all, but Guisma has a special place in my heart, and now you have a chance to Bring Guisma Home.
Bring Guisma Home is a campaign to have people learn, teach, and act — for peace, protection, and justice for Guisma and all the displaced people of Sudan. You simply provide your home and a home-cooked meal to your friends and family for a night. We send you a free DVD and action pack. By hosting a viewing and action party, you will be a part of a large network, a community that will reach across the oceans, from continent to continent, and connect with people that feel abandoned.
When I first met Guisma a few years ago, she immediately caught my attention, with her beautiful eyes, her squeezable cheeks, and her unending giggles. I really did want to bring her home with me! Visiting Adef and Achta, Guisma’s parents, is always a joy but is also sad. I vividly remember when, a year after I met the family, I visited them and gave them some pictures we took from the visit before. Their smiles turned serious. Adef pointed to one of the pictures and showed it to Achta, and he kept staring at that image. It was a photo of the family, with Achta holding their little baby, Marymouda, who was about a year old. Our translator told me that the little girl had passed. I felt like I was punched in the gut and didn’t know exactly what to say. They had told me of how one of their sons had died during their escape from Darfur, and now beautiful Marymouda had died from illness.
While Guisma is from Darfur, her story is tragically repeated all over Sudan, where the government in capital city Khartoum, led by indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir, continues to attack and displace its own citizens in huge numbers.
You can see Guisma’s entire story during your home gathering. I promise you that it will be sad, but I also promise that you will be energized and inspired by the strength and resilience of Guisma, her family, and all of her people. One more promise: I will tell Guisma and her family personally about your participation in their community. Thank you for being a part of it.
Gabriel Stauring is Co-Founder and Director of i-Act.