In the past, we have raised funds and awareness as requests for in-kind donations etc… came in directly from grassroots organizations we have been working with in Darfur. At the moment, we are no longer raising funds but instead we are linking funders in the United States directly to independent Sudanese-led human rights and development organizations. We will occasionally ask for funds to purchase items such as flip cameras, medical equipment or other items not available locally, as local organizations request them and send them directly. We made this decision because we believe that by linking supporters to grassroots work directly we can leverage more resources and create more effective opportunities for local capacity building and accountability on various levels. The best way to support us is to connect us with potential supporters so that we can expand our capacity to act as a connector between donors and local civil society groups.
In the past your support has gone directly towards fixing roofs and infrastructure in schools and community centers in three different displacement camps so that children can be protected from the rain and the sun while they learn. It also went towards purchasing learning utensils and books for children, teacher salaries and restarting income generating workshops (sewing, carpentry, furniture) for youth and women in camps that were recently discontinued due to the expulsion of several international NGOs, who used to fund these activities.
Popular education Theater and Music groups:
Your support went directly towards youth led groups who take issues and problems in their communities, lead discussions around solutions to them and then turn them into creative songs and theater pieces, which are performed in various settings in camps and community centers in towns throughout Darfur. Your support helped them purchase musical instruments and helped defray local transportation costs.
Grassroots Organizing Initiative:
We supported initiatives run by Darfurian led human rights organizations through advocacy. Currently several organizations are organizing to stop violence against women living in displaced communities. Many women gather firewood and materials for making mats outside the camps in order to make a living. They are often violently attacked and raped by janjaweed (militia men) during these trips. A coalition of organizations is trying to address this by making their voices and cases heard. They are bringing together local journalists, law students and groups of displaced women and doing training workshops with them to gather stories to be submitted to media outlets. These same organizations are also organizing women to have alternatives to gathering firewood and raw materials on their own. They are also training displaced women to identify cases of rape within the community, provide survivors with psycho-social support and give them the option of having their voices and cases heard. Support their efforts to stop violence against Darfurian women today.
A trusted friend and local radio journalist documented the impact of these funds on the communities receiving your donations. We posted pictures and stories on the blog to monitor this impact and to kept you up to date on how your donations are being used. We realize you are placing alot of trust in individuals with little accountability. This is why my friend has volunteered to do this. Also, we have found that this is the best way to ensure that resources get to the communities that most need it and go towards things the communities themselves voiced are most needed. Often times donations made to International and even local NGOs trickle down through a bureaucratic system that ends up eating up much of this money. We can guarantee you, that all individuals involved in the process of getting the resources to the communities that most need them, are volunteers and are not in any way benefiting from or getting a cut from your donations. In other words, there was no overhead except for the 10% paypal takes.