My cause is, and has been Darfur. What is happening in Darfur is genocide. The Sudanese government and the Janjaweed they hired have been systemically and ruthlessly and almost totally driving members of certain ethnic groups into the desert to die.
Just imagine . . .
You are a Dafuri woman who has lost her husband, her home and one of her two children to the conflict in Darfur. You walk from the remains of your home in Darfur, through the desert in 120-degree heat, carrying your son, who is malnourished and dehydrated.It is all you can do to put one foot in front of the other. The pathway through the sand is marked with dead bodies of animals and other Darfuri.
You keep walking. Soon, you blink the sun and sweat out of your eyes to see what looks like a well. Perhaps it is a mirage, but water could mean the difference between life and death for you and your son, so you walk towards the well. It is a well, but a soldier guards the well. You reach for the bucket to get some water for your son. The soldier shoots you.
As you sit there, watching your lifeblood draining onto the sands of this lonely desert between Darfur and Chad, you wonder what will happen to your son.
Imagine . . .
You are a young girl, 12 years old. Your family was killed in Darfur, but you and your brother, 14 years old, managed to make it to sanctuary in Chad. You scavenge what you can find, mostly the belongings of other residents of the refuge that have died. Your brother and you cobbled together shelter from the sun and wait for night to fall.
You cling to your brother, knowing that one of you must leave the relative security of the refuge to find firewood so that you may cook the few grains of rice and some roots you have found. Your brother says that he is the man and he should go. You argue that if he is caught outside, he will be shot. He shrugs and says that if you go out, you will be raped, which will dishonor the family.
You sit there, wondering how life became so warped that you must choose between life for your brother or ostracism and a life alone for you.