I met Fatna in camp Farchana in 2008. Before going to the camps, I knew I had to meet her. Gabriel, Consuelo and Stacey had all met her on previous trips. I was drawn to her story, but mostly I was drawn to the strength she held in her eyes. After meeting her, my life was different.
Fatna and her husband were in the small market in their village when it was attacked. He was shot, and told Fatna to get the kids and run. Inconceivably, she was able to find all 7 of her children and guide them through the desert to Eastern Chad. They now call camp Farchana home. When I met her they were all living in a single tent. Through the years, she has kept her family together when so many older boys and young men leave to go back to Sudan in search of work. Ismail, her oldest, was on the 2012 Darfur United team, and I hope he makes the team again. You can read more about Fatna and other mother’s and girls from Darfur here.
I recently shared her story at an intimate Empty Hands concert by Nimo, an MTV rap star who went back to his roots to work at the Ghandi Ashram. Before each song, somebody shared a personal story around the song’s theme. Little did I know when Stacey asked me to speak about gratitude that I would be the last of an hour and a half long concert (yes, Leila actually made it through). I cried through my whole story. I’m not even sure if anyone could really hear what I was saying through my tears. Leila, who was occupied with an Elmo phone, saw I was crying and looked deeply troubled. She came over and wrapped her arms around me. I could feel her love.
I am so deeply grateful for knowing Fatna and her family. She has taught me to be stronger as a mother, wife, and community member. Knowing her story and having the privilege of working on her behalf has made me a better person.
This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day in the United States. The day is an opportunity for me to honor my mother, Kathleen Scott, grandmother, Barbara Scott, and to reaffirm my promise to the mothers of Darfur that I will stand with them as they work for a peaceful future for their children.
You too can be part of this promise. I invite you to learn more about being a Mama Ambassador or a School Ambassador for Little Ripples. It is deeply fulfilling to be a part of the lives of these women and their children.
Meet a few of our Mama Ambassadors and Darfuri Mamas:
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