Posts Tagged ‘Darfur’

My Fast Ends But The Hunger Continues

Letter To The President

As part of my fast for Darfur Fast For Life, I am sending letters to government officials and media outlets. Here is the letter I’m sending to President Obama. Feel free to copy, edit and use it for your own. Please note that hand-written letters carry more weight – I’ve already written this out by hand and would encourage you to do the same.

Here is the mailing address for the president:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you have been an advocate for peace in Sudan since the genocide started in 2003. I appreciate everything you have done to speak out against the atrocities in Darfur, but the killing continues. Since the humanitarian aid agencies operating in Darfur were expelled by President al Bashir, more than 1 million people are at risk of losing their lives.

I am participating in a three-day water-only fast of solidarity with the people of Darfur this week to raise awareness of this terrible crisis, and am asking for your administration to take the following steps to ensure the safety of innocent victims in Darfur:

  • Publicly support the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudan’s President.
  • Urgently seek the return of humanitarian aid agencies to Darfur.
  • Pressure the UN Security Council to ensure protection for Darfur’s civilians.
  • Work towards a peace agreement in Sudan which allows Darfuri’s to return home.

Thank you very much for your attention to these matters.

Respectfully Yours,

Kevin Twombly

Hungry. Tired. Irritable.

And that is just a few of the things I am feeling right now.  It’s lunch time on day two of my Darfur Fast For Life and I am feeling the effects of going without food.  I know that what I am currently experiencing is nothing compared to what millions of people go through each day with no other option.  I have an option.  I have access to clean water and a roof to sleep under. I have a bed. In this fast I was hoping to join in solidarity with those who are fasting without an option; and yet the hunger I have right now is nothing compared to the despair of Darfur. Robbed of dignity, robbed of their homes, these refugees are on the run from brutal violence and rape, seeking out any form of hope. The smallest bit of hunger that I feel this day cannot even be compared to the hunger that Darfur woke up with today: a hunger for dignity, a hunger for freedom, a hunger for so much more than simply food.r3781500817

I find it difficult to concentrate or focus on one thing for any length of time.  It has only been 39 hours since my last meal and yet I am finding my thoughts paralyzed.  The thought of school children trying to learn with the rampant effects of hunger boggles my mind.  My energy is low and I think of the families that walk endlessly looking for a source of water or worse yet, those who have to run for their lives to hide from rebels who seek to destroy them.

We can do something about this.  We can contact our elected officials.  We can urge them to act on behalf of the people of Darfur.  Each of us can call 1-800-GENOCIDE and be connected directly to your elected officials for free. All you need is your zip code.  The hotline will provide you with up-to-date talking points related to current Darfur legislation and other actions your elected officials can take to help end the genocide. Call today and make Darfur a top priority for your representative, senators and the White House.

I can’t help but think back to the events that unfolded 15 years ago in Rwanda and how little was known about and done to stop the genocide that took place.  This is today.  A genocide is occurring.  We can act, we can speak up, we can make a difference and end this now.  I don’t want the history books that are yet to be written to record the fact that my generation let the same thing happen as the generation before us.  

Join me and take action on behalf of Darfur. 

Darfur Fast For Life

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I first learned about some of what is going on in Sudan 3 years ago when I watched a documentary by Invisible Children.  As I watched this film in the privacy of my office I was brought through many emotions.  Anger, Hatred, Compassion, Sorrow, Fear, Joy, and Helplessness.  After watching the film I knew that there were things that I could do to help the millions of people who are suffering in IDP camps throughout Sudan.  I began showing the film to everyone who would take the time to watch it.  I hosted a screening at our church.  I spoke with young people about the role that they could play to make a difference in Sudan.  I have purchased t-shirts that send proceeds to the aid process, worn bracelets made by women in IDP camps, sent financial aid to help support students so that they would have a chance to receive an education.  I have read books that explain the history of the conflict, dig into the reasons for these incredible atrocities taking place.  I have written letters to my Senators, Representatives, and to the President as

There are days when I feel like nothing I do personally makes a difference.  There are still millions of people starving and dying while I live a very blessed life here in NH.  There is a vast ocean that separates the people of Sudan and myself and it seems to grow wider each day as there plight grows worse and I go on living my life.  I want to do more.  I want people to be aware of what is going on.  Even more than that, I want people to respond to this crisis.  I want people to be moved to action.  We can not just stand by and watch this happen.  In 1994 we, as Americans, stood by and did absolutely nothing as the mass genocide took place in Rwanda.  Unfortunately this is happening again with Darfur.mariam-and-child-300x225

That is why I will not eat.  I have thought about this for a while.  I heard of some the Fast for Life a while back through Twitter and then this morning was approached by a friend who is taking part in this fast next week.  Now, before the complaints come in about how Matthew 6 talks about fasting as a private matter between you and God I want to redirect what this is about.  This is less of a fast and more of a public awareness effort brought about through hunger strikes.  This fast is the only way that I think I could join in the suffering of the people of Darfur and raise awareness through this blog as well.  During these three days I will share my experiences with you all as I refrain from eating.  My hope is that I will be changed and moved to even more action through this effort.

Beginning Wednesday, May 20 and continuing through Friday, May 22 I will be fasting from all food and participating in a water only fast to help raise awareness of what is going on in Darfur.  I would encourage you to join me.  You can find out more information about this fast here.  Together we can make a difference.  Yes, I am one person who may not have a direct effect on what is happening, but if we each band together we can make things happen.  

Join me.  Make a difference.  Change the world with love…