Contact: Ante Up for Africa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FILM STAR DON CHEADLE AND POKER CHAMPION ANNIE DUKE RAISE $600,000 FOR ANTE UP FOR AFRICA
CELEBRITY POKER TOURNAMENT DONATIONS WILL BENEFIT THREE DARFUR ORGANIZATIONS THAT RELIEVE SUFFERING AND FUND ADVOCACY
LOS ANGELES (August 10, 2009) —- Ante Up For Africa, a non-profit organization founded by Academy Award® nominee Don Cheadle, World Series of Poker champion Annie Duke and Norman Epstein with a goal of raising money and awareness for Africans in need, today announced a donation totaling $600,000 to three Darfur-related charities dedicated to helping provide relief for the people affected by the violence in that area. Proceeds were raised through the organization’s highly successful poker tournaments, which have raised more than $2.5 million for Darfur charities since launching in 2007.
“The crisis in Darfur is not over and we’re grateful to all who participate in Ante Up For Africa to make these donations possible and hope that many more people will join us in the future," said Don Cheadle.
“When we started Ante Up, we had no idea that so many people would respond and participate to combat the devastation in Darfur,” said Annie Duke. “It reaffirms our belief in humanity and drives us to do more for people in need.”
Ante Up for Africa will donate $300,000 to Darfur Peace & Development Organization (DPDO), a Darfuri-led non-governmental organization that continues to provide aid to those in need in Darfur and the refugee camps. This donation will allow the DPDO to continue the Women’s Center in the Kassab refugee camp in North Darfur. It will also provide the money necessary to complete the construction of El Fasher High School for war-affected teens.
“The impact of these funds will be felt for many years as we try to bring some normalcy to those who have not known it for a long time,” said Omer Ismail, a co-founder of DPDO.
Ante Up For Africa will also donate $150,000 to Refugees International, an organization that advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people. This donation will allow Refugees International to conduct assessment missions to South Sudan looking at the protection of women and returning refugees and to work with policy makers to increase aid and services in the region.
Elaine Martyn, Director of Development for Refugees International said, “We are grateful to Ante Up for Africa for their generosity in helping us urge greater support for victims of violence in all of Sudan.”
Ante Up For Africa is also donating $150,000 to the Enough Project, a project of the Center for American Progress that is working to build a permanent constituency to prevent genocide and crimes against humanity. This donation will support the field researchers on the ground in Darfur, administer advocacy programs and implement advocacy campaigns directed to spur greater action the U.S. government and others.
"Ante Up's support for Enough allows us to work on addressing the root causes of the suffering in Darfur, so the war and genocide can finally come to an end and Darfur's displaced populations can go home in peace and security," said John Prendergast, co-founder of Enough.
Darfur, located in western Sudan, is experiencing a humanitarian crisis which has seen hundreds of thousands killed and millions driven from their homes. Ante Up For Africa’s contributions have gone to leading aid organizations to relieve suffering as well as fund advocacy on behalf of people affected by the violence.
ABOUT ANTE UP FOR AFRICA
Ante Up For Africa is a non-profit organization founded in 2006 by Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein dedicated to raising money and awareness for Africans in need. (www.anteupforafrica.org)
ABOUT DARFUR PEACE & DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
Darfur Peace & Development is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization with headquarters in Washington, DC and offices in Khartoum and El Fasher Sudan. DPDO provides humanitarian and development assistance to the victims of conflict in Darfur, Sudan without regard to ethnicity, gender, age or religious beliefs. DPDO works to foster reconciliation, to facilitate just governance and to enable Darfurians to rebuild their homeland in effective, sustainable ways. DPDO also promotes awareness of the crisis in the United States and advocates for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. (www.darfurpeaceanddevelopment.org)
ABOUT REFUGEES INTERNATIONAL
Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. Refugees International was started in 1979 as a citizens’ movement to protect Indochinese refugees. Since then, they have expanded to become the leading advocacy organization that provokes action from global leaders to resolve refugee crises. They do not accept government or UN funding, allowing our advocacy to be fearless and independent. Their expert recommendations are highly valued by the very people whose decisions bring immediate relief and lifesaving solutions to refugees: senior officials of the U.S. Administration, the United Nations, and governments around the world, and members of the U.S. Congress. (www.refugeesinternational.org)
ABOUT THE ENOUGH PROJECT
Enough was conceived in 2006 by a small group of concerned policymakers and activists who wanted to transform their frustration about inaction into pragmatic solutions and hope. Co-founded by Africa experts Gayle Smith and John Prendergast, Enough launched in early 2007 as a project of the Center for American Progress. John Norris is Enough’s Executive Director. Enough conducts intensive field research in countries plagued by genocide and crimes against humanity, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to help empower citizens and groups working for change. Their initial work has focused on grave challenges in a number of African countries: Sudan, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, Chad and Zimbabwe. (www.enoughproject.org)