Summer is just around the corner, and the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program is gearing up for our 2nd annual Summer Service Challenge. We started the Summer Service Challenge last year as an opportunity for students, teachers, and community members to learn more, raise awareness, and take action in honor of the 43 million refugees and displaced people around the world. The 2012 challenge will begin on World Refugee Day, June 20, and end on July 31.
This year’s World Refugee Day marks the 61st anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Refugee Agency, or UNHCR, which implements education funds raised by the DDT Sister Schools Program. Since its creation in 1950, UNHCR has been at the forefront of providing large-scale humanitarian assistance to people displaced from their homes and countries by war, conflict, and fear of persecution.
An integral component of the DDT Sister Schools Program is working with schools and donors across the U.S. to raise funds in support of UNHCR’s efforts to provide quality primary education in eastern Chad’s Darfuri refugee camps. To date, UNHCR has dispersed nearly $500,000 of education funds raised by our program in Djabal and Goz Amer refugee camps. These funds were allocated toward teacher recruitment, training, and retention, building and improving classroom and storage space, purchasing books, supplies, and uniforms, and creating a safer learning environment.
Last summer, more than 100 people showed their support for global refugees by participating in our Summer Service Challenge, and we hope to increase that number this year. In 2012, there will be new challenges, exciting rewards, and the opportunity for individuals to compete as teams. Actions will include a range of activities such as hosting documentary screenings, raising funds for refugee education, and volunteering with local refugee resettlement organizations.
Mark your calendar this summer for June 20, and sign up to participate in the 2012 Summer Service Challenge.