October 30, 2014 · 6 Cheshvan

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Reform Congregations have been extremely active in raising awareness and funds about the crisis in Darfur.

Many Reform Congregations have been extremely active in raising awareness and funds about the crisis in Darfur. Below is a summary of past as well as ongoing activities. Find past activities here.

Nothing But Nets:
Nothing But Nets (NBN) is a global campaign to combat malaria with which the Reform Movement has partnered. NBN works through the UN to distribute Long Lasting Insecticide treated Nets (LLINs) to children under five and pregnant mothers in Africa. They do this through an integrated campaign called the Measles Initiative, which also provides vaccines for Polio, Measles and TB. Recently, they have been getting emergency requests from areas surrounding the Darfur crisis. As it is the rainy season, mortality rates are rising among refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). An estimated 25% of the children under 5 in refugee camps could die before the rainy season ends this November. Each $10 donated purchases a LLIN for a family, including the delivery, education and training in its proper use. 100% of donations go to nets, and these funds will be matched by the Gates foundation. Funds for this grant will be used for nets in the region of the Central African Republic (CAR) aiding refugees from Darfur. For more information, visit www.urj.org/nets.

Solar Cookers:
Once Darfurian refugees arrive at camps, the danger from the Janjaweed unfortunately continues. Women and children must venture out of the camps to collect firewood, where they jeopardize being raped by Janjaweed still surrounding the camps; if the men go instead, they risk being killed. However, organizations are currently providing the women of the Iridimi refugee camp in Chad with solar cookers, which reduces the need to collect firewood and helps generate income by assembling the cookers in a workshop and training others. Thirty dollars provides one family with two cookers, two pots, and training for the women.

Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, New York, and the Westchester Darfur Coalition recently paired with Solar Cookers International to raise money to buy solar cookers, pots, and training for the families in the Iridimi Camp.

Jewish World Watch, an inter-denominational group of about 45 synagogues in Southern California, including several URJ congregations, focuses on advocacy, fundraising, and education regarding Darfur. Since its inception, JWW has raised about $1 million and has helped build 50 water wells and two medical clinics in camps for Darfurian refugees. Currently, JWW is also funding a project providing solar cookers and training. For more information, please visit www.jewishworldwatch.org or www.solarcookers.org.

Bring Darfur to the Stage
Are you looking for fresh way to bring the story of Darfur to your campus or community? Darfur Stories: Tell Them is a new and powerful staged reading of first person acounts accounts that offer a glimpse of an international movement as well as an eyewitness window into the lives of the people of Darfur. To create your own production or educational program, visit www.darfurstories.org. Here you can download the script, production ideas, and a free publicity poster. For more information contact the Darfur Stories project darfurstories@gmail.com.

Darfur Dream Team
Have your youth group congregation join the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools program! The goals of the program are "(1) to provide a quality education to every refugee child from Darfur; and, (2) to develop connections between students from Darfur and the United States and promote mutual understanding." Your youth group or synagogue can sponsor a school in a Darfuri refugee camp, raise funds for materials, and connect via video-chat to see first-hand how your advocacy is affecting students. Learn more at www.darfurdreamteam.org.

 



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