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Student group forms to save Darfur

As one of the greatest human rights crises in human history continues in the Darfur region of the Sudan, a group of Eastern University students are raising their voices for the victims of the atrocity by educating fellow students and the local community.

“Our goal is to start more of a movement than a club,” said sophomore Ashley Dargay, one of the students who initiated gatherings to dialogue about the genocide in Darfur.

It is estimated that since the conflict began in 2003, over 400,000 people have been murdered, and another 2 million left homeless by a Sudanese government-backed militia known as the Janjaweed. The black non-Arabic population is being targeted.

Dargay and her counterpart, first-year Christian Przybylek, have collaborated with an organization called Save Darfur to start an advocacy group on Eastern’s campus.

Save Darfur, an alliance of over 170 faith-based organizations representing over 130 million people, is directly involved in pressuring policy makers in the United States and abroad to take aggressive action in helping the people of Darfur.

With the support of Save Darfur, Dargay and Przybylek intend to have fundraisers, invite qualified speakers, join efforts with local universities that have Save Darfur groups and possibly adopt a child from Darfur through Compassion International.

Dargay and Przybylek stressed that the group is intended for all students of all majors and all walks of life, citing the need for a diverse perspective and range of skills and talents.

The United Nations’ top humanitarian official, Jan Egeland, stated in late August that the situation in Darfur is “going from real bad to catastrophic,” according to an article on the Save Darfur webpage.

Some who have been forced into refugee camps are eating as few as 150 calories a day, and funding by the United Nations has been cut in half because of a severely underestimated funding pitfall.

In light of a largely apathetic understanding and response concerning the conflict in Darfur by the American public, Dargay urged that “getting the word out” about how bad things are is the key focus of their gatherings.

The Eastern group, Save Darfur, will be meeting on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. in the new lounge across from the Jammin’ Java. For more information, contact Christian Przybylek at cprzybyl@eastern.edu, or Ashley Dargay at adargay@eastern.edu.

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