Where could a textbook be more important than in a school where students will eagerly sit in the hot desert sand for a chance to learn from teachers who have little more education than themselves? Where could a thrilling story bring a greater sense of escape or hope than in a camp where refugees have been stuck for eight years, with no prospect of returning home?How can we get Darfuri refugees the books they need? You can help by simply buying a book for yourself.
Caption: A young mother attends class with her baby on her back in Djabal refugee camp. Many girls drop out of school or attend classes very irregularly once they get married and even more when they have babies. Early marriages and early pregnancies- as young as 11 or 12- prevent girls from having even basic education. Djabal, eastern Chad, August 10, 2007.
More than 250,000 Darfuris live in refugee camps in eastern Chad, most of them children. They are some of the world’s most vulnerable people, and they need books for their education and psychological well-being. Buying this book directly helps people like 16-year-old Farihalh, going to school in Djabal Refugee Camp, achieve the dream she told representatives of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR: “I want to become a minister, Minister of Darfur.” This is real.
This book, What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur, features stories and poems that captivate, inspire, and offer hope about things we all wish for. Together with Darfur advocate and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Mia Farrow, who wrote the book’s moving foreword, the authors contributed to this amazing collection for free so that all the proceeds could be used to fund libraries in Darfuri refugee camps in Chad.
Caption: Teacher Cherif Khamis Ahmat Chogar gives a class in Djabal camp and is about to question his student Farihalh (in blue on the right). “We need chairs and tables for the children” laments Cherif. Djabal camp, Eastern Chad, August 13, 2007.