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No Time or Room for Pity


Editor’s Note: This blog originally appeared on iactivism.org.

Adam sent me a text message, telling me that he made it back safely to home in Darfur. Before we said goodbye to each other at camp Djabal just a few days ago, Adam told me that it is our communication, our short text messages coming and going half-way around the world, that give hope to him and his family. He said that he feels comfort in sending a message and then seeing my answer, as he sits at home in a small village inside of Darfur.

This was a common theme during this trip. As the refugees face an ocean of hardship, so many of our friends told us that it is our tiny drop that gives them hope. It makes me proud but also very, very sad. I know that there are many groups and individuals doing amazing work, but we’re not doing enough. I also know that standing with them, that in of itself, is so powerful. We keep coming back, and they know that we represent a movement of dedicated, passionate people that will alway be there.

I feel that my recent blogs have been negative and even depressing. I definitely don’t want people to feel that the situation is paralyzing or helpless. We can’t allow that. The people in the camps do not want anyone’s pity. They are very much alive, and I have beautiful moments of laughter and joy when with them. They want opportunity and a say in their own lives. They want their voice to be heard because they do have a strong and loud voice. There needs to be someone that listens—and acts.

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Gabriel co-founded Stop Genocide Now in 2005, which gave birth to i-ACT in 2009. He became involved in the situation in Darfur out of a sense of personal responsibility. He believes the power of community and compassion, combined with personal empowerment, can bring about meaningful change.


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