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Paper dolls, real people

Hat tip to Deb at An Unfinished Symphony (via RevGalBlog) for the heads up on a seventh grade social studies class in Highland Park, Illinois, that is undertaking a very creative project to help end the crisis in Darfur, where since February 2003 an on-going genocide has left as many as 400,000 killed and 3.5 million driven from their homes and living in the squalor of displaced persons camps. The students hope to collect 400,000 decorated paper dolls to send to Senator Barack Obama “in hopes of demonstrating to him our belief that something needs to be done to stop this atrocity.” Why 400,000? Because it represents the number of lives lost in the genocide taking place there.

And we can help. Download a template for the dolls (they’re very easy to cut and make) and then send your simple creations to the class by June 2007. Like other bloggers, I think this is a creative and easy way to draw attention to the crisis in Sudan.

Why is that important? As this blog has said many times before, we must speak for those who have no voice (Proverbs 31:8-9). If you don’t know enough about what’s going on, learn about crisis--and then tell others about it. Besides spreading the word, you can support organizations who are helping the millions of people displaced by the violence in Sudan and neighboring Uganda (where additional millions have been driven from their homes by the Lord's Resistance Army, a militia reportedly supported by the Sudan government). Check out Coalition for Darfur or Invisible Children or any of the following organizations: Doctors Without Borders, World Vision, Far Reaching Ministries, or Mennonite Central Committee. Also, you can locate your congressman here, and write a letter urging your representative to call for action (see Save Darfur’s background and talking points for more on what actions governments can take to end this crisis and a sample letter you can send to your representatives). God will use our actions, no matter how small; give him something to work with.

If you’d like to learn more and find out what you can do to help end this crisis, visit World Vision, SaveDarfur, or Wikipedia.