Teachers, students, and community members joined Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng and Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast at “Education for a Generation,” a special reception for the Darfur Dream Team held last Thursday to raise funds and awareness for Darfuri refugee children. Co-hosted by the Enough Project and the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, the evening featured a benefit art auction, followed by presentations from community leaders.
In his speech, Deng reflected on his commitment to assisting the people of Sudan and his influential role as an athlete. Rick Hirschhaut, executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, appealed to the audience to act by noting that “we are anchored in history, but rooted in the future.” Jim Rose, sports anchor for Chicago’s ABC 7 News, moderated the event, and Lonnie Nasatir, regional director for the Upper Midwest Region of the Anti-Defamation League, also spoke.
Approximately 1.8 million children have been affected by the conflict in Darfur. Children represent 60 percent of the population in Darfuri refugee camps. “These children are no different than the children here in the U.S. They dream of a better future filled with opportunity,” Prendergast said.
The Chicago community raised over $18,000 last month to support their sister school, Ali Dinar A, in Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad. Building on this effort, students at Chicago-area high schools will raise funds through April to support their Darfuri peers. Click here to see pictures from “Education for a Generation” or here to learn more about the Darfur Dream Team.