Saturday, November 19, 2005
21 DAYS ON THE GROUND IN DARFUR: INTERNATIONAL WEB BROADCAST
Contact: Ivan Boothe, Communications Director, Genocide Intervention Network
(202) 557-1636, Boothe@GenocideIntervention.net, www.GenocideIntervention.net
Individuals from Around the World will Be Able to Communicate with Activists in Darfur
Broadcast Beginning Monday and Continuing Through Dec. 11
N’djamena, CHAD — Beginning Monday, Nov. 21, people around the world will be able to view a web broadcast directly from refugee camps in Darfur, Sudan, and the Chad border. Individuals will also be able to communicate directly with American activists on the ground. The 21-day webcast and blog, Interactive Activism (I-Act), is sponsored by the Genocide Intervention Network and StopGenocideNow.org.
The I-Act team will travel to the refugee camps of Eastern Chad and the destroyed villages of the Darfur region of Sudan. They will use the power of the Internet to put a face to the mind-numbing counts of the dead, dying and displaced in the Darfur genocide.
Unlike traditional news broadcasts or other reports from the region, visitors to GenocideIntervention.net and StopGenocideNow.org will be able to track individual stories of families who have lost everything while fleeing their homes in fear of annihilation.
“This project is absolutely essential to helping the world community understand what is going on in Darfur and why the civilians there need our help,” says Rajaa Shakir, Education Director of the Genocide Intervention Network. “We must tune in, we must tell our families and friends to tune in and, most importantly, we must act.”
The Genocide Intervention Network equips its members with the tools to pressure the U.S. Congress to pass legislation supporting the African Union peacekeepers in Darfur.
I-Act will be interviewing officials from the African Union in addition to the refugees, and will also speak with representatives of MŽdecins Sans Frontires/Doctors Without Borders, the World Food Program, International Medical Corps, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other NGOs.
But I-Act is not only about observing the atrocities in Darfur — it is about working to build a peaceful future. The I-Act team will formulate and pose questions for the international community about the process of peace and reconciliation in Darfur.
Simply by visiting the websites of the GenocideIntervention.net and StopGenocideNow.org, visitors will see the human face of this ongoing crisis as well as receiving daily updates from Darfur and Eastern Chad with real-time security information about the villages and refugees. Viewers are invited to make comments, ask questions and post suggestions on the websites’ interactive blog feature.
Anyone can be a part of this unique, educational and powerful project and help bring anti-genocide activism to a new and even more effective level. Millions of Internet users around the world will follow the daily plight of innocent victims in this preventable tragedy — putting a human face on an ongoing genocide and using on-the-ground reports to facilitate both awareness and action.
“Each person has the ability — and the unfortunate responsibility — to bear witness to the utter failure of the international community to stop genocide,” Shakir said. “Ten thousand innocent civilians continue to die each month, waiting for assistance and security that is shamefully slow in coming. Perhaps hearing this cry directly from the trenches of Darfur will prompt politicians in Washington and around the world to finally take action.”
The Genocide Intervention Network works to mobilize an anti-genocide constituency in the United States and Canada to raise the costs for inaction by politicians in the face of genocide. Accessible online at GenocideIntervention.net, GI-Net empowers its members with the tools to support initiatives that prevent and stop genocidal violence, in particular by protecting civilians in Darfur, Sudan.
StopGenocideNow.org is a global community of dedicated volunteers working to protect populations in grave danger of violence, death and displacement resulting from genocide. Through active education, advocacy and policy change, StopGenocideNow.org resolves to change the way the world responds to genocide. The organization is currently focused on creating awareness and action to stop the genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and deal appropriately with its aftermath.