Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Do What You Can: National Week of Action for Darfur April 6-13

"[Y]ou don't necessarily have to solve a problem. You just have to take the steps that are available to you. . . . I focus on the fact that I don't have to solve it. I just have to do what I can. "

--Jerry Fowler, Executive Director of the Save Darfur Coalition, during an interview on the Voices on Genocide Prevention Podcast.

I don't have to solve the problem.

I just have to do what I can.

One of the reasons I think the issue of genocide in Darfur, and in other places, hasn't reached the mainstream consciousness, is that it is hard to find actions that make concerned citizens feel like they are having an impact. The genocide prevention movement hasn't found its equivalent of carbon offsets, hybrid cars and CFL light bulbs.

Perhaps they would gain a more mainstream constituency by acknowledging the overwhelming nature of the problem, and emphasizing in their messaging that you
just have to do what you can.

April 6-13, 2008 human rights groups like Genocide Intervention Network, STAND, Amnesty International, and Save Darfur are using the Global Week for Darfur to raise awareness about the continuing violence and need for action. The week provides a number of ways for you to do what you can.

April 6 Host a fundraiser house party for your favorite human rights organization with a viewing of Hotel Rwanda in memory of the Rwandan genocide's anniversary.

April 8 Watch the HBO special, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo.

April 9 Attend a protest along the Olympic Torch relay route in San Francisco. Tell China to, "Extinguish the Flames of Genocide in Darfur." Check out Dave Eggers' recent Op -Ed in the New York Times, "Dropping the Torch" about the event.

April 10 Call President Bush at 1-800-GENOCIDE and ask the White House to keep its promise by implementing the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act (SADA).

April 13 Join STAND, Amnesty International, GI-Net, and Save Darfur on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a rally at the White House on the Global Day for Darfur.

After the Global Week for Dafur has passed, you can continue to follow anti-genocide news, policy and campaigns on the ENOUGH Project's Report feed, and the STAND, Genocide Intervention Network, and Save Darfur blogs.

By writing this blog post, I am doing what I can. What can you do?


  1. This is a great post. Many times I feel burdened to "solve the problem," as I'm sure many other people do.

    It's really comforting to be reassured that we just have to "do what we can." So, thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Hi Samuel, I'm glad the post was helpful. I hope you'll take a moment to spread the word to friends and colleagues about how they can get involved.

  3. On April 7th, 2008, the 14th anniversary for the start of the genocide in Rwanda, we will begin the 100 Day Fast for Darfur. This tag-team fast will coincide with the one hundred days it took to kill 800,000 people in Rwanda, as the world stood paralyzed. It is our way to stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of Darfur, today's ongoing genocide, and demand immediate protection for the millions of innocent civilians that are in grave danger of displacement, starvation, rape, and death. We fast to demand urgent action and not only urgent words, and we fast to support greatly needed food relief.

    The fast will go from April 7th through July 16th. It is a midnight-to-midnight fast, so that there are one or more people fasting during the entire 100-day period. The suggestion for the 100 Day Fasters is to go without food for a 24 hours (or more) period, but we leave it open to individual participants to make decisions on food intake, based on their own health. We then ask you to donate $25 or more to the World Food Program (WFP), supporting the amazing work they do to keep the people of Darfur alive. If you cannot donate the $25, please donate as much as possible and/or find someone in your community to sponsor your fast period. We also ask that you and all around you send a message to President Bush (or your own leader, if from outside the USA), asking him to change his legacy regarding genocide.

    To sign up to the 100 Day Fast for Darfur, visit our calendar ( and chose a day or more. Then, send date(s) chosen, your name, city and country, and amount pledged towards food aid for Darfur to Let us know if it is OK to post your full or partial name on the calendar. If you can, please send us a short note about why you are joining the fast. If you can send a picture of yourself that we can post, that would be great also. As soon as you sign up, we will send you information on how to donate and participate in more action.

    After five years, the crisis in Darfur continues to worsen. The world must respond with the appropriate urgency to match the dire situation on the ground. Thank you for being a part of the community that cares and acts.

    Gabriel Stauring

  4. I've been reading blogs for 3 days straight and yours really pops. You seem to have the kind of energy you just want to be around and somehow it comes through in the way you organized your site.

    I used to live in Oakland and now I live Behind the Orange Curtain but am involved in some great groups and work. One is the website which is an easy-to-use site that offers everyday people the opportunity to become philanthropists just by doing their everyday shopping on line. I would love for you to check out our website and if you like what we are up to, we would be honored to have you write something about us in one of your blogs:)

    My other work involves the non-profit group Ndebele Art Africa: a group serving 500 villagers in Zimbabwe and my personal 'green' party production business at

    So there you go...Just wanted to share about what I'm doing to help out in the world and feel a little bit of Oaktown comradery.

    Thanks for your time and keep up the great work!

    Mire Molnar

  5. Gabriel--Thanks for sharing information about the fast.

    Mire--Keep up the good work!


If you are having trouble commenting, please let me know.