WASHINGTON – NBA star and humanitarian Tracy McGrady made a commitment to scale up direct online communication between U.S. students and children in Darfuri refugee camps. McGrady works with the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program to foster cross-cultural understanding and engage U.S. youth in advocacy and fundraising to improve the quality of education for their Darfuri counterparts. A member of the Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, McGrady made the pledge at the recent CGI’s annual meeting.
The Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program was created after McGrady visited Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad with John Prendergast and Omer Ismail of the Enough Project. He returned with a mission to support the Darfuri refugees and, in that spirit, the program raises funds for quality primary education in the camps and builds mutually beneficial relationships between U.S schools and the Darfuri refugee students.
“When I was in the camps, every parent I talked to desperately wanted their child to receive an education and I was moved to help them achieve that dream,” McGrady said. “This commitment will take us one step closer to fulfilling that promise of providing quality education to Darfuri refugee children.”
McGrady was selected for CGI membership because of his humanitarian work and saw this as an opportunity to expand the DDT Sister School Program’s innovative efforts to foster connections between American and Darfuri students to generate greater understanding and action for the issues faced by displaced African youth.
“The Sister Schools Program fills a critical gap in funding education in refugee camps while at the same time making real connections between students in the camps and students in U.S. schools,” said John Prendergast, Co-founder of the Enough Project. “The program enriches young people on both sides of the ocean and fills a huge hole in the international response to refugee populations."
As the program scales up its efforts with this commitment, fundraising continues with the support of schools and other donors throughout the U.S. to deliver quality primary education to Darfuri refugee children.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The 2011 Annual Meeting took place Sept. 20-22 in New York City. www.clintonglobalinitiative.org.
About Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program
The Darfur Dream Team is a dynamic partnership of organizations and professional basketball players working together on the Sister Schools Program, an initiative linking American middle schools, high schools and universities with 12 schools in 2 Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. The Program works to provide a quality education to every refugee child from Darfur and, develop personal connections between students from Darfur and the United States that promote mutual understanding.
The Georgetown basketball team may have won against Duke on Jan. 30 in front of a capacity crowd that included President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, but students from both schools have put aside rivalry to become partners for a common cause -- Darfur refugees.
Through the Darfur Dream Team’s Sister Schools Program, students from the two universities are raising money for two schools located among the 12 refugee camps in nearby eastern Chad.
“Access to education will give refugee kids the tools they need to move out of the camps and support themselves,” said Carolyn Shanahan (C’12), president of Georgetown STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur). “Many of the children have also expressed a desire to return to Sudan and rebuild the Darfur region. They need education in order to help stabilize their country.”
Sister’s a Father, Too
Nearly 3 million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. There are now 250,000 refugees from Darfur in eastern Chad. Children account for more than 60 percent of the population of Darfuri refugee camps and face major educational challenges from lack of infrastructure and funding.
Georgetown’s sister school, Aboutalib -- which means father of scholars in Arabic is located in the Goz Amer refugee camp; Duke is raising money for another refugee school.
“Duke and Georgetown are fierce rivals on the court, but they’ve decided to partner off the court to provide a quality education to kids from Darfur who otherwise would have no opportunities,” said John Prendergast, co-founder of Enough.
Enough, a Center for American Progress project to end genocide and crimes against humanity, joins students from Georgetown STAND and the Duke for Darfur Coalition, NBA stars Tracy McGrady and Dikembe Mutombo (I’91) and former Georgetown Law Center Dean Alexander Aleinikoff, in effort to assist the refugees of Darfur. Aleinikoff is the newly appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.
Obama to attend Georgetown-Duke basketball game Saturday
January 29, 2010, 10:41 am by Christina Wilkie
President Barack Obama will attend Saturday's men's basketball game between the Georgetown University Hoyas and the Duke University Blue Devils, according to sources involved in the planning of the event.
Saturday's game at the MCI Center will raise money for educational programs in the war-ravaged Darfur region of Sudan, and other special guests include NBA star Tracy McGrady, Alexander Aleinikoff, the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, and John Prendergast, Co-founder of Enough, the project to end genocide and crimes against humanity at the Center for American Progress.
Guest post: College Basketball Powerhouses Come Together for Darfur
By: Sameer Padania, Posted: Jan 28 10
This Saturday US college basketball powerhouses Georgetown and Duke will face off in one of the most anticipated games of the season. While the two teams battle on the court, students and alumni from both universities will put aside their rivalry and come together to support the Darfur Dream Team’s Sister Schools Program, an initiative which links American middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities with sister schools in 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad.
The Darfur Dream Team was conceptualized following NBA star Tracy McGrady’s trip to Darfuri refugee camps in Chad with John Prendergast and Omer Ismail of the Enough Project. Their journey is chronicled in the documentary film 3 Points: Peace, Protection and Punishment. McGrady and Prendergast will attend the upcoming game to unveil a video announcing the Darfur Dream Team’s partnership with Georgetown and Duke. Students and alumni from the two universities have pledged to raise funds to support two Darfuri refugee camp schools.
The recent media buzz about the Darfur Dream Team has had a considerable impact on the Team’s Sister Schools Program, with new U.S. schools signing up nearly every day to be paired with schools in Darfuri refugee camps. Read More »
On her show last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow interviewed Houston Rockets star Tracy McGrady and Enough’s John Prendergast about why they founded the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program.
As Maddow explained, activists who were optimistic about President Obama’s leadership on the Darfur issue “so far have been disappointed.” But, she added, “the pressure is not going away,” in part because of celebrities “who won’t let it go away.” Read More »
The movie 3 Points, featuring basketball star Tracy “T-Mac” McGrady of the Houston Rockets, surged to the top of Hulu’s list of most-watched documentary films. Hulu, a video website, launched 3 Points just one week ago, and it quickly became one of the 10 most popular feature-length films on the entire site. Read More »