Athletes for Darfur

The Olympics are officially over now, so this post may be a little outdated. However, the topic is still worth talking about, at least in my opinion.  China had a long list of reasons why it maybe should not have been the host for the Olympics this year, most surrounding human rights issues.  The one issue that I really know about the most is their support for African governments.

You see China has this desperate need for a substance called OIL. Some African countries are rich with oil resources. Unlike the United States, China has a very hands off approach to getting the natural resources it needs to survive.  China doesn’t really care how you get the oil to them as long as you do.  Exploit children in forced labor setting – that’s fine.  Murder thousands of children because they are a little different than you – here’s some extra money – just make sure we get our oil.

Have you heard of the Darfur region of Sudan? It is ok if you haven’t, despite massive media efforts and national and international campaigns a lot of people still have never heard of the genocide occurring in Darfur.  Groups like Save Darfur, Dream for Darfur, Genocide Intervention Network, Investors Against Genocide, and many more have been working for years to end this horrible conflict.  Some people urged the world to boycott the Olympics all together, while others were saying boycott this or boycott that part.

More recently a group of athletes competing in Beijing, formed an organization called Team Darfur.

The mission of Team Darfur is to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur through the voice of professional and Olympic athletes.

The Team Darfur athletes are speaking out on the Olympic stage, showing incredible courage by advocating for the people of Darfur from the heart of China. Driven by the same determination that made them Olympians, these incredible athletes know that it is our resilience and resolve that will end this genocide.

You may have heard about Team Darfur, becasue China revoked the entry visa for the organization’s co-founder and 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist Joey Cheek. While this was very frustrating and disappointing for Cheek, it brought a lot of media attention to the organization and their efforts. You can visit their site and send a note of encouragement to the almost 100 athletes who stepped up and said something must be done to end the senseless killing of innocent women and children.  Here is the most recent news story about Darfur.

Two great stories out of Sudan and this year’s Olympics are the story of Lopez Lamong carrying the US Flag during the opening ceremony and Ismail Ahmed Ismail winning the silver medal in the 800m.  Ismail is a Darfuri who ran for Sudan, winning the country’s first ever Olympic medal.

How does all of this relate to World Vision and my goal of raising $2,000 in honor of my friends in Africa? Well Darfur is located in central Africa and World Vision is doing work with Darfuri refugees in the region.  But more importantly, it is through World Vision that I first learned about the genocide in 2004.

If you have some free time I would encourage you to check out some of the various links listed above.  But if your time is short I would recommend these two actions:

1. Visit Save Darfur and take action.

2. Make a donation to World Vision in support of my goal to raise $2,000 for Africa.

Team World Vision

Team World Vision is a fund raising arm of the organization which uses ordinary people like me, to get ordinary people like you involved in ending poverty and injustice across the world. I have decided to commit the 26.2 miles of my first marathon to the memory of and in honor of the children I have met during my international travels. I can’t remember all of their names, but I have many pictures and stories.

On the right side of my blog there is a widget that will allow you to support me during this race or you can visit this secure page. I have set a goal of raising $2,000 which will help children have a chance at living to become adults across Africa.

[tags]  World Vision, Team World Vision, Africa, Darfur, Team Darfur [/tags]

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  1. Pingback: Wrapping Up World Vision | Adventures and Thoughts of Team Cross

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