Sunday, April 27, 2008

Squares of Hope

Today we launched the Temple Micah Tents of Hope project, with a focus on helping refugees from Darfur. It was an effort to involve the youngest people in our community, since they may well be the ones who end up solving the crisis in Darfur.

First we talked about Darfur in a simple dialog with me posing lots of questions like:
– Who can tell me where Darfur is?
– What is happening there?
– What is genocide?
– Where do refugees live?

This of course was all leading up to the activity of the morning, whereby each of them would use fabric markers to decorate a 1 x 1 canvas square with something representing peace, hope, or beauty. The squares will subsequently be sent to the refugee camps in neighboring Chad where children from Darfur will decorate the other side. Then the squares will be sewed together and made into tents.

They loved the physical contact with something that might actually be able to help these people struggling to survive. They took their assignment seriously and did some amazing work. Their work was temporarily displayed on the outside of the larger tent which we will paint over the next couple of months.

Meanwhile an adult, who is an artist, offered to come up with a design for the painted tent. At least 20 people (adults and kids) signed up to paint the tent. Two people signed up to pay for paint. Here’s an example from a similar tent painted by a congregation in San Francisco.

It was an intense 3-day Darfur awareness weekend at Temple Micah, especially for my husband who was in charge of it. We all experienced feelings of intense anger and helplessness as we saw graphic pictures of the atrocities being committed. We will continue to try to find ways to support the people of Darfur who are the targets of this genocide. Hopefully the coming months and years will find a solution to end the rape and senseless loss of life in this poor country halfway around the world from us.


Blogger Pauline said...

Your involvement in such a project brings hope not only to those suffering but to those of us who might be inspired to get involved in projects of our own.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

It's especially frustrating to understand what's going on and not be able to bring about change to stop it. But unfortunately once again it's a matter of oil money that flows in -- this time mainly from China -- into the coffers of the government, who are funding the bad guys in this conflict. No wonder the Sudanese government won't let the UN peace-keepers come in!

10:48 AM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

what a great project for raising awareness and creating both bridges and tents of hope. I will have to schedule one of my frequent trips to metro dc november 6-9 to be able to see ALL the tent! it will be most powerful.

thank you.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mouse -- Yes, it will be wonderful to see the tents from all over the country on the Mall in November, but it will be even more wonderful to know they are being used by refugee families in Africa.

11:58 PM  

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