Activist Beth Davis sent us this letter describing the work her parents and congregation in Kentucky have engaged in to raise awareness and funds for Darfur. We were inspired and wanted to share her message with a wider audience.
Dear Enough Project,
After supporting my work as a longtime Darfur activist, my parents decided that they too wanted to get involved in this cause. I suggested that they reach out to their church and organize fundraisers for the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, encourage the youth group to participate, and educate the congregation about the genocide in Darfur. This past weekend, the fundraising efforts of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church culminated in a Gala that sold over 180 tickets. The event also included a live and silent auction of over 170 items donated by local businesses and friends of the church. Each participant was given information on Darfur to pass along when soliciting donations, further educating the community about the crisis. Our fundraising goal was $17,250, which will cover the total expenses to build a school in Djabal refugee camp, and we have almost reached it!
Because of my previous experience with Students Taking Action Now in Darfur, or STAND, I was asked to speak at the event. It was a great honor for me to be given this opportunity, but I was more pleased when dozens of people approached me afterwards and thanked me for the education I provided. Many had no idea of what was going on there, and others admitted that they had never even heard of Darfur. Having lived in the D.C. area now for nearly seven years and worked at an international non-profit, I often forget that the rest of the country is unaware of the many struggles people face abroad. It was a wake-up call to me as an activist that we need to do more to educate places in middle-America, like my home state of Kentucky, in order to get the message back to Washington. I can attend DC protests and yell until I turn red in the face, but neither Congress nor the White House care what I have to say–only what their constituents back home want to see done. If I truly want to see more action done to help those in Darfur, I need to reach beyond the Beltway. In, fact we invited Kentucky congressmen and senators to the Gala to let them know that their constituents care about Darfur. We received a letter of support from Congressman Ben Chandler, which I have attached, but unfortunately did not hear from the senators.
As an activist, this was really a rejuvenating experience, which is why I wanted to share it with other like-minded activists, especially during this critical time for Sudan. Best of luck in your efforts and I hope that we will soon see peace for the people of Sudan!