SUDAN WATCH: Feet on the street - eyes in the skies - $50 - and the French Foreign Legion

Friday, November 19, 2004

Feet on the street - eyes in the skies - $50 - and the French Foreign Legion

For future reference, here is a copy of what I posted yesterday at the Passion. It was in response to a previous post featuring a heartwarming message from an American activist called Jay McGinley:

Thanks Jay, Sorry some of us are unable to be feet on the street but thanks to cyberspace we can be eyes in the skies working on sharing news, ideas and opinions that mainstream press aren't able to publish.

Are any feet on the street outside the UN building in New York calling for Kofi Annan's resignation? Or at the Chinese Embassy asking for 80,000 Chinese peacekeepers? What are feet on the street doing? It'd be interesting to hear more regular news.

Yesterday, I unexpectedly received a $50 refund that was originally a gift from the heart. Do you or any readers here have any suggestions on how it can be best used for Darfur?

I once heard of a Vicar who handed out £5 notes as a gift to each of the children in his congregation and asked them to go forth and make the cash multiply. Some of the children bought buckets and cloths and washed cars and windows to provide a paid service. Others bought seeds and grew plants and vegetables to sell. All did so well, they happily returned their original £5 to the vicar.

Obviously, I'm not expecting the $50 to be returned. I'm just giving an example of how a small sum of cash with a bit of imagination, creativity and effort can grow. From little acorns grow trees. If anyone has an idea they'd like to try out to help the people of Darfur, please email here with details on where I should send the $50 via PayPal.

Here's my idea, someone could let us know if they are willing to use the $50 to buy 7 copies of the new Band Aid 20 single (all proceeds for Darfur) and give them as a gift to 7 teachers at different schools who could use the song as a basis of a lesson (history, geography, music - whatever) and maybe inspire the children to think up and start a project to raise awareness on the streets (mock Darfur villages is a great example).

Or (Jim might like this idea) I could send the $50 to a fund for the French Foreign Legion who carry out peacekeeping duties. Africa is a regular destination of theirs :)

PS If no ideas are forthcoming, I shall donate the $50 to MSF (Doctors Without Borders). - Ingrid in UK

By the way, does anybody know why Sudan remains as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee?
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Update: Note comment (see sidebar on right): "My wife and I have written and recorded a number highlighting the plight of the children of Sudan. Bill Latham (Sir Cliff Richards manager) has heard the number and felt it could be used as part of an appeal. With the recent re-release of 'Feed the World' maybe we could give an alternative from ordinary people...I would really like you to hear the number (c.d. copy available) if you think it could help...please let me know ...... Kind Regards Alan Fisher."
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Kofi quotes of the day

Sudan is increasing its oil production from fields in the south of the country, in part with Chinese investments.

When asked today to comment on reports that the China and Russia's position might be linked to their commercial interests to oil-rich and arms-hungry Sudan, Kofi Annan stressed the importance of the common good.

"The Council as a whole should look at the broader interests of the international community," he told a news conference before the draft was finalised.

"National interests should not be a dominant issue," he said, otherwise "it is not good for the credibility of the Council."

"The strongest warning to all the parties that are causing this suffering is essential.''


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