I recently returned from spending two weeks in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. It was an incredible trip and, thanks to modern technology, I was able to regularly share my experiences with Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools, or DDT, participants and supporters through Enough Said and Facebook. One such experience was meeting Umda Tarbosh, an inspiring leader and dedicated teacher at DDT partner school Darasalam A in Goz Amer camp.
I spent two days with Umda—walking the length of Goz Amer, and visiting the camp’s six primary schools. Students and teachers shared with us their personal stories of survival, challenges they still face in the camp, and hopes for the future.
To express his gratitude and to emphasize the need for continued assistance in the camps, Umda asked me to share this message with the American DDT schools and donors supporting Darfuri refugee education. Here is his message:
First, thank you for all of the things you have done. Thank you for your continued support and letters. We are refugees in an already poor country with few resources. We thank everyone and still need more support. The support by Americans is something that the students and teachers cannot forget — it will go into Darfuri history. We have so many thanks for the good guys in America who have hopes to know about Darfuri culture and life in the refugee camps.
We must focus on education because it is the key to the students' lives. Education is important for rebuilding Darfur and reducing ignorance. Limited access to education for Darfuris in Sudan was one contributor to our oppression.
With education our students can reach the sky and run our country; without it, they cannot. What the Darfuris will build in the future will be well thought about and well built. Ignorance will bring more damage; education will bring development. Life without education is darkness; education is like a sun for the universe.
– Umda Tarbosh
To learn more about my recent trip to Chad, and how the DDT Sister Schools Program is supporting refugee education visit our website.
Photo: Umda Tarbosh, an inspiring leader and dedicated teacher at DDT partner school Darasalam A in Goz Amer refugee camp (Photo: i-Act).