Hillels across the United States will offer visitors a rare, firsthand look at the genocide in Sudan with "Darfur Drawn: The Conflict in Darfur Through Children's Eyes," an exhibit that comprises 27 drawings of atrocities in Darfur as witnessed by refugee children.
Hillel International President Avraham Infeld commented: "Hillel is working with other campus groups to raise awareness about the ongoing atrocities in Darfur not only because it is a humanitarian outrage, but because the Jewish people is all too familiar with the effects of genocide. We cannot say 'never again' in reference to the Holocaust if we sit on the sidelines today."
The exhibit is a joint effort of the Weinberg Tzedek Hillel program and Human Rights Watch. It is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Estate of Frank and Claire Darmstaedter through the UJA-Federation of New York. The Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University was the first Hillel to show the exhibit.
The exhibit will be displayed around the world as part of Hillel's ongoing effort to educate students about the situation in Darfur. In the last two years, Weinberg Tzedek Hillel has joined forces with local Hillels to alert students to the crisis and to encourage them to take action. Hillel has joined with mtvU, the American Jewish World Service, STAND (Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), the Save Darfur Coalition, the International Crisis Group and other organizations in this effort.
The situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate despite growing worldwide pressure on the Sudanese government. International organizations estimate that 2.5 million have been displaced due to the violence, 3.5 million are hungry, and 400,000 have died.
The 27 drawings collected by Human Rights Watch serve as a unique depiction of the emotional and heartbreaking situation through children's eyes. The "Emergency Appeal" begun by Human Rights Watch documents abuses in Darfur in order to bring an end to the conflict. In February 2005, Human Rights Watch researchers gave crayons and paper to children living in seven refugee camps along Darfur's border with Chad to keep them occupied while parents were interviewed about the conflict. The artwork ranged from detailed sketches to stick figures.
Human Rights Watch, an organization dedicated to protecting the human rights of individuals around the world, conducts fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in all regions worldwide. Human Rights Watch works to prevent discrimination, to investigate and expose human rights violations, to challenge abusive governments and to advocate to the public concerning human rights violations.