Inspired by NBA star Tracy McGrady’s visit to refugee camp Djabal in eastern Chad, the Darfur Dream Team Sister School Program (DDT) is a program that was designed to provide empowerment through education. The program promoted a two-tiered approach that educated and engaged students in the United States to act in order to support the education of their Darfuri peers living in isolated and under-resourced refugee camps.
Continue to Empower Through Education
Between 2008 and 2014, the program raised about one million dollars primarily focused on primary school education in camps Djabal and Goz Amer for Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad. These funds impacted more than 18,500 primary school-aged refugee children, 173 classrooms, and over 213 teachers. It strengthened the foundation of 12 primary schools, including the replacement of open-air and plastic-sheeted structures with concrete and mud buildings and providing all schools with essential school materials such as books, maps, blackboards, desks, and chairs. Over the years, the Darfur Dream Team added more than 18 new teachers, reduced the teacher-to-student ratio by almost half to 1:35, established student/teacher/parent committees, implemented certified eighth grade testing, trained teachers on child protection, built fences, hired school security guards, and created school clubs for girls.
In the process of supporting primary schools, DDT engaged over 350 high schools and universities from across the United States. DDT provided education about the lives of refugees from Darfur, Sudan, through mutli-media materials like a movie highlighting Tracy McGrady’s inspiring trip to refugee camp Djabal, a curriculum for middle schools, high schools, and universities, and service-learning opportunities such as the Darfur Dream Team video contest. The national partnership also created a unique satellite-based communications network called Pazocalo, through which more than 27 U.S.-based schools exchanged messages and multi-media with their Darfuri peers for over three years.
Empowering Through Education
While the program has ended, its impact continues. The work of empowering Darfuri refugees through education moves forward with Little Ripples, an iACT education program in eastern Chad and WISE Awards 2016 winner. Located in the same camps previously supported by DDT, Little Ripples is an early childhood development program that builds the capacity of refugee women to implement customized, in-home, and play-based education in order to support the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development of children ages three to five. Little Ripples continues to grow and has thus far impacted over 750 children ages three to five years old and their families in addition to more than twenty teachers and ten cooks. The program plants seeds of peace to break the cycle of violence and lays the foundation for long-term well-being of both the child and the whole community. The Little Ripples in-home centers, called “Ponds,” are strategically sprinkled throughout a camp to ensure an accessible, community-based solution.
In 2010, Darfur Dream Team Sister Program partner iACT met 16-year-old Hafsa in refugee camp Goz Amer. She was one of the few girls in her grade 7 class at Darsalam School. Her shyness quickly faded as she used Pazocalo to engage with her U.S. peers from Rahway High School, Seymour Middle School, Brentwood School, and Trinity College. Hafsa eventually graduated from secondary school (equivalent to high school) in camp Goz Amer. She is now married with two children and is a Little Ripples teacher, providing care and support at the most critical point in a child’s life. Each day she walks to her in-home Pond and guides students through a curriculum that prepares them educationally and emotionally for their futures.
Hafsa’s beautiful life journey has been deeply influenced by the Enough Project’s support through DDT and Little Ripples, providing a true example of empowerment through education.
The Darfur Dream Team Sister Program’s original partners included the Enough Project; UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR); USA for UNHCR; Participant Media’s Darfur Now Social Action Campaign; TakePart.com; the Education Partnership for Children in Conflict, co-founded by Angelina Jolie and Gene Sperling; Facing History and Ourselves; and iACT. In addition to Tracy McGrady, the partnership included several other professional basketball players including Baron Davis, Derek Fisher, Luol Deng, Jermaine O’Neal, and Etan Thomas.
New photographs smuggled out of Darfur show uniformed Sudanese security forces brazenly assaulting Darfuris living in El Salam camp for the internally displaced. The camp, on the outskirts of Nyala in South Darfur, is host to tens of thousands who fled their homes due to violence. The recent assault was carried out last week under the pretense of a disarmament campaign. However, Abu Sharati, spokesman for the camp residents' association argues "the main objective of this attack is terrorising the camp population and dismantling the camp." Read More »
Rockflower, a new fund which seeks to transform the lives and livelihoods of women and girls around the world by connecting large funders in developed nations with organizations investing in women and girls in underdeveloped nations, has selected the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program as an initial recipient of support for Rockflower’s education program. Read More »
In 2003, brutal attacks on Darfur's civilian population captured the world's attention, but attention has drifted away from the war-torn region, since violence in Darfur diminished in the mid 2000s. Still, the root causes of the conflict persist. This mini-documentary done in coordination with our partners at iAct features the Enough Project's John Prendergast and Omer Ismail speaking with displaced Darfuris and hearing their stories.
In 2003, brutal attacks on Darfur's civilian population captured the world's attention. By 2004, the US government had enough evidence to call the Sudanese government's campaign against its own people a genocide. Activists, politicians and the UN mobilized to try to respond. But the killing continued.
Attention has drifted away from the war-torn region, since violence in Darfur diminished in the mid 2000s. Still, the root causes of the conflict persist. In the first half of 2013, we've seen a resurgence. Hundreds of thousands of Darfuris have been displaced and many more have fled across the border to Chad.
Nine 8th grade students from Newark Charter Junior and Senior High School recently visited the Enough Project office for an advocacy training. The students, who also participate in the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, then took their new advocacy skills to the Hill to meet with Representative John Carney’s office and ask for his support for H.R. 1692 -- the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013. Read More »
SPEAK with legislators in the Capital, including congressional representatives, staff and foreign policy pros.
LEARN from fellow activists and distinguished experts in the growing movement against genocide.
CONNECT with Congolese and Sudanese community leaders who have lived through the violence and escaped to the US.
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WILD magazine recently published an article, “Champions of Peace”, highlighting Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast and the scope of work that Enough does against genocide, mass atrocities, and crimes against humanity. Read More »
I am currently in Kou Kou Angarana, Chad which is less than 30 miles from the Chad-Sudan border. I’ve been in this area for almost two weeks visiting Djabal and Goz Amer refugee camps for the Enough Project’s Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program, or DDT and have just a few days remaining in my trip. Read More »
The Dickey Center welcomes John Prendergast to Dartmouth.
Prendergast is a human rights activist and best-selling author who has worked for peace in Africa for over 25 years. He is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity affiliated with the Center for American Progress. Prendergast has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.
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The U.S. was put in a difficult diplomatic position this week as ICC indictee and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced his intent to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York. An agreement between the U.S. and the UN legally requires the U.S. to issue Bashir a visa and facilitate his travel. Although it might seem like restrictive international laws have created this problem, some activists see law as also offering the solution. Read More »