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Day of Awareness for Sudan

On designated day, participants were asked to wear “Stop the Genocide in Sudan” T-shirts around town.

Community Contact Information:
Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Aliso Viejo, CA
http://www.templebethelsoc.org/

Goals:

  • Raise awareness in the greater community about current events in Darfur.
  • Provide aid to refugees in Darfur.

Overview:
Congregants attended a demonstration about Darfur and realized that people driving by were unable to read the demonstrators’ signs. After the demonstration, a congregant was walking through a local mall and noticed that several people had noticed her “Stop the Genocide in Sudan” T-shirt, and many stopped her to ask questions about the situation.

Preparation:
The social action committee created a “Day of Awareness” on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, with all participants wearing T-shirts and sharing informational materials. They contacted local faith communities and grassroots organizations and encouraged them to participate.

Project Implementation:
The synagogue sold "Stop the Genocide in Sudan" T-shirts (available at: http://www.studentsagainstgenocide.org/)as a fundraiser. Congregants were asked to walk around malls, airports and other public places, and perform their regular Sunday errands. The synagogue donated the profits to Jewish World Watch’s Solar Cooker Project, which provides solar cookers to women in Darfuri refugee camps. These solar cookers conduct the sun's heat so that the women don't need to leave the safety of the camps to look for firewood. More information is available at: http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/refugeerelief/solarcookerproject.html

In addition, congregants acted out in other ways, such as:

  • Writing letters to local politicians, urging them to take action on Darfur,
  • Handing out literature,
  • Hosting a fundraiser to support the refugees in Darfur,
  • Organizing two minutes of prayer for communities, near and far, to gather in prayer at the same time,
  • Holding a special gathering at the synagogue to celebrate the success of their efforts.
     

Results:
The congregation raised money to provide solar cookers to dozens of refugee families. Volunteers distributed materials to and spoke with hundreds of people over the course of the day, raising awareness throughout the region.