Volunteer
Donate
$4.00

General voluntary assistance. Help us in variuos fields.

Help us raise funds for BnaiDarfur ongoing activities. Your small contribution will make a big difference!

Personal story

  1. Tell me about yourself

Taj Harun, From Darfur, living in Israel since 2008, one of the community leaders who established Bnai Darfur.  Currently works on the executive committee on programming. Plans and brings all the projects to the community

  1. Mind set about the organization

Bnai Darfur is one of the first organization established for and by the community. Aim is for the community. Direction has been more towards appreciation of the little things we get here in Israel. More protection, a lot of horrible things out there. Diifferent from other organizations, not criticizing but appreciating what they have in their community. Appreciate their safety. Which is a huge step.

Think about long term goals, not just within Israel. But want to be able to participate in the situation in Darfur and be able to help people in neighboring countried like Chad. Difficult so not its here in Israel focusing on helping our community with shelter, education, community centers.

  1. What are your main priorities

Community, future leadership of community, community programming, establishing connections within the state of Israel and the community

  1. How do you think Bnai Darfur can reach the community?

Works within the community, because those who work on a committee are activists within the community center. We have 5 or 6 community centers that focus on social and culturally. Huge impact on different organizations. And different communities of refugees.

  1. How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

Bnai Darfur has been in the community since 2007 and has been the same, they have had classes, skills, computer skills classes, kindergarten, family needs, events. Provides a sense of community for these refugees. Projects and programs and committees provides a very good chance to continue to build the community

  1. How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

Here in Israel Bnai Darfur came up with the idea of working under one umbrella to bring all the objectives of all the organizations and working under one organization. One year term programs to be implemented and is then divided to different organizations to implement. Still under discussions. We basically agree to work together and form committees and we are working on a professional plan for the year. It was originally 4 different  organizations. Some our focused on culture issues while others are focused on childrens programs and womens education and empowerment. All provide language and basic programs for the community. Bnai Darfur also is heading more leadership programs.

  1. How will bnei Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

Have discussed these issues and the main problem is that they cannot move. They have tried to have courses such as first aid and some sort of mobilized clinic, clothes and medicine drives to try to ship it into those in the camps in Darfur and Chad who need it most.  Not able to move because of the asylum status. Very difficult to come up with solutions to implement ideas.  English and Hebrew courses are very important. Community having ideas and skills will hopefully be able to recommend something. Knowledge is kinda like everything. Small things.

  1. How do you best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

We do a lot of testimonies and personal stories to groups and corporations. Also do media advocacy through newspaper Articles . Theres not much but we can at least let people know who we are and what we do. We try to explain our situation and show them what our family is going through and that were not really ok but its better than before.

There are better ways to advocate especially if we were allowed status, especially if we can organize ourselves better. We are doing our best here but we are not allowed in many places.  We cannot move and if we had status we could connect with the jewish communities in the Diaspora to show appreciation and gather support. Eventually we would like to go home and we cannot do it alone so we need support from the communities.

  1. What have you learned that others might not know about the issue and circumstances in Darfur

What I have learned is that especially since I have done testamonies and personal stories is that many people do not know about it, maybe they once heard about it on the news but there is no deep understanding of why the genocide is happening. We need to make people better understand it.

The diaspora Jewish community has a huge impact. This would be really very good to get some international community.

  1. What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

First, the goals of the organization should include the Darfurian community here, back home and in neighboring countries. Focusing on them, they will be able to get tools to show their problems and get support as well.

Why we are here and what we can do.

  1. How has the organization contributed to your success

I have been involved in activities in the beginning. Gave me the chance to closely connect to Israeli society and speak with them. Went to a lot of schools and universities and tours. Most of the people were very friendly. Personally, through  Bnai Darfur I managed to get scholarships and go to school and get a BA and I am planning to attend Kings College in London to get a masters.

  1. Did you ever have any doubts

In some cases yes, not the organization itself but with the goals and objectives of some people, its a lot of pressure from the community. The situation can change and then your specific goals need to change. I never doubted working for the community and being an activist. Sometimes it was hard with some long meetings discussing goals and priorities.  It can be difficult with the lack of status and there were moments when you see such a big community with no where to go and sometimes no budget. Its sometimes hard seeing people and not being able to do much.  In the end it all works out.

 

  1. Tell me about yourself

Name: Musa Keeso, I am  from Darfur, Sudan, 29 years old, arrived in Israel in late 2011 and since then I have been involved in community based organizations called Darfur Friends  association worked there for public relations, spoke publically about Darfur and wrote and spoke on behalf of the organization to address the needs and recruit membership. Raising awareness.  Also involved in Amnesty international as a human rights activist. Involved in many campaigns .

Participates in organizaing Darfur international day, raises awareness of the genocide in darfur

For bnai Darfur: working with the media team, for the media. Addresses the needs of the drafurian asylum seekers, speaking on the behalf of many of the community, writing all the needs. Attends meetings and campaigns and organizes intiatives for Darfurian and asylum seekers. Talks to the media about the challeneges of the Darfurian community.

  1. Mind set about the organization

I see the organization as a means of addressing the problem and taking care of the Darfurian asylum seekers, focused on helping them and the refugees. Taking care of the darfirans, addressing childrens issues and working to find solutions for Darfurian asylum seekers, representing the issues publically. Belives the organization will change the situation that they as Darfurian face.

  1. What are your main priorities

Education, culture, advocacy,

  1. How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

The organization does a lot of activities and intiatives, first they raise awareness around the community and bring the community together, bnai Darfur does a lot in helping community in education and he play a better role in displaying the issue of Darfur to NGOs and the Israeli government. Community benefits a lot from the existence of the organization.  Because of the advocacy, the Israeli government decided that 600 darfuris would receive temporary citizenship. Initiatives and meetings to get other darfuri organizations to be apart of Bnai Darfur. Where this organization leads many projects and plans.

  1. How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

In the beginning of this year until now, the organization had a ton of meetings in which they proposed that other organizations would work under the umbrella of Bnai Darfur, become one body, In 2015, Bnai Darfur will be one single organization

  1. How will bnei Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

We are still building on this idea but what we are going to do is build relations. We currently have relations in those places with community leaders. We are currently building a project to do some courses and workshops to train teachers on the camps. Adult and children education.

  1. How do you its best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

Most of the time we organize cultural (food, theater) events where we invite Israelis. Every year we organizes an international Darfur day where we discuss Darfur’s problems. Through speeches.

  1. Can you explain how your life has been improved/changed since leaving Darfur

I have gained a lot of knowledge especially with working with community issues and concerns. Learned how to integrate Darfurian issues in to the top.

  1. What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

Have 10 more offices open.  Have membership of the entire population, wants to improve the situation of the asylum seekers as well as darfuri refugees as well and internally displaced. Continue to build peace. More focused on children’s education  and adults education for the community. There are many many more. Also to be advocacy for Darfurian issues.

  1. How has the organization contributed to your success

Contributed a lot because he has become comfortable with the community and has built many solid relationships through and because of the organization. Organization has helped to acclimate and find a better life.

  1. Did you ever have any doubts

Never thought about it, from the beginning it was a bit hard, doubtful about volunteering time as well as working in a real job.

  1. Tell me about yourself

My name is Idris from Sudan, Darfur. I was born into a small village where I grew up, I am from a small family.  When the war started in Darfur in 2003, my village was burned and we were sent to an IDP camp. It was not exactly safe so I ran away to the city Khartoum which also became dangerous for me because I am Darfurian. I came to Israel and I saw my community and found Bnai Darfur started by my community. I belonged to this organization for 4 years. In 2011, when I came here I worked in the community facilitating and helping and in the beginning of 2015, I was elected and picked by the board director of the organization. We are working hard on how we can give basic education and give women education. Helping children and within that we have resolve conflicts and the goal is the spread awareness about the Darfurian around the world.  We want to show the world the issues in Darfur because there is no media on the ground. Genocide and rape is still occurring in Darfur and we need to focus on this issue and helping the asylum seekers. Change policy on the asylum seekers.

  1. Mind set about the organization

My focus about the organization is uniting the community. Focusing on the women and how they can have education and support with childcare.  Empowering women through education and skills courses so they can support and care for their kids and continue to pass on education. They are smart and we need to teach them and the kids a new democratic way.

  1. What are your main priorities

We are focusing on advocacy and community leadership. If I say advocacy I mean awareness about the situation about Darfur and the situation of Darfurians in Israel. The leadership is focusing on conflict resolution. Our country is at war and our people need more of a capacity for peace. We really want our people to have more mental power so they can lead the community themselves.

  1. How do you think Bnai Darfur can reach the community?

The organization is in the middle of the community. We have different centers and this way we are able to extend to who we are able to help on the side of skills, education and advocacy. We are working through the centers to provide basic needs. These include basic education, job skills, school applications, and computer skills. We bring needs into the community.

  1. How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

Bnai Darfur is more focused on in Israel to help them in accordance with the situation they are living. We are making awareness on the side of the situation, RSD forms and with other basic skills to advocate human rights. We are sending the message to the government that we victims of Genocide. We are telling them our story and our history to advocate our point. We are working a lot on the situation and trying to help our people to provide a basic education and teach leadership. We also provide medical care (mental health is big priority). We are taking them to our community centers to better help them.

  1. How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

We are close with all the other organizations. We are Darfurian within the specific issue but really we are all Sudanese and we all are working together on how we can create a leadership and create attention to it around the world. We are all cooperating together to spread awareness that our government and our leader in Sudan is killing our people and we are all experiencing it together. The international community is keeping silent on the issue of Darfur, and Darfur has had a long year and a lot of victims. We are working hard to bring a solution and explain and make sure the international aware of what is happening. We are Sudanese and we need and are cooperating.

  1. How will bnai Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

This is kind of our new vision of 2015, we want Bnai Darfur to spread awareness of what is happening inside the camp. We would like NGO’s on the ground to be able to help these people. We need organizations like Bnai Darfur to be able to make a connection and be able to help these people.  We have many organizations around the world to make connections to the US and UK to also provide help in getting aid inside the camp.

  1. How do you its best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

The problem in Darfur it is the government killing the people, 200 women were raped in 1 night. It is even worse than that and no NGO’s are helping with that.  We are concentrating on that,  I became an activitst because I was in jail in Sudan and when I was in Khartoum, my activism is about telling people what is happening in my country. The national TV does not cover what is happening and what is going on. Personally I have been in Jail for a long time and I came to Israel after that. I am wishing to work hard within my community to tell to the world about the situation in Darfur. Yes in Darfur Genocide is still happening.

According to the situation, I personally tell my history to the Israeli citizens and NGO’s about the situation in Darfur, we give letters to the Canadian embassy and European Union about the situation and the Darfurian community here in Israel and on the ground in Darfur. We make demonstrations (like the one on Al-Bashir).  We make a lot of demonstrations on many embassies when the countries have taken a stand with the government of Sudan.

 

  1. What does the organization provide for the community
  1. Can you explain how your life has been improved/changed since leaving Darfur

My life I was living was with my family and my mother and father in the city. I had not  seen my father for 6 years. He was in the city of Khartoum and I was in Darfur with my mother. In 2003, when the war started my Father was supposed to come back but was killed by the government. In the IDP Camp, UNCCR opened a school but the children had no interest in education and most stayed on the streets. I was working with the NGO to get kids education and support them. The government put me into prison for 2 months and then again for 3 months. My mother was scared I was in danger. The last time I was told the next time I was arrested I would be taken or be killed. My mother was shocked and said I had to leave the IDP camp and go to the city. The city is a big place and no one will no you and here everyone knows you. You will be arrested and killed. I went to the city and studied English and went to school and working on how I can start to help. Kids are dying and people are being killed. We started to create an awareness about Darfur from inside the city of how the government was raping and killing people. This was 2005-2007.

The government started to arrest us and in work we started a student organization focusing on the issue of Darfur. We will tell the world and the general Sudanese. I was arrested 2 times. And the last time I was not able to stay because they told me this was the last time. But they did not take us to court they just took us to  prison. I was not treated humanely. I was beaten and that’s why I decided to leave

Now, I cannot give up the way my people are living. I’ll do my best to spread awareness and advocate for issues unless the peace will come and then I can go home and celebrate with my family and see the kids and my mother and that will be like my best day. I wish the peace will come.

  1. What have you learned that others might not know about the issue and circumstances in Darfur

The cooperation with NGO’s making awareness to organizations around the world. We are wishing that we can get international organizations there to help. Because there is no help. They need to see the situation of Darfur. Many organizations are needed for this issue to help. We need people to know about the situation.

  1. What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

My future goals for the organization is the leadership of the Darfurian community makes advocacy about the community and focus on making awareness about the situation in Darfur and how we can get the NGO’s inside the camp to see what is occurring and how to better resolve the conflict.

  1. Did you ever have any doubts

Yes, now is a hard time because of the community they are not living in good conditions. Some are in Holot and some are here but regardless there is no stability. We are working hard to make this organization be alive. Some of the community goes back to Africa and some are here or in Holot and it creates separation in the community and it is hard to create unity that way. We have challenges like most organizations but we are working hard.

 

  1. Tell me about yourself

I am from West Darfur, a place called zinlingi, the village of Maura, I was living there at the time in 2003 and the war started and my village was burned in April 2003, the janjaweed came in the morning and I lost my cousin and my uncle. Every one from the village ran away, we walked 5 hours on foot to an IDP camp. It was still not safe especially for young boys who lived there because the government and the militia would come into the camp they would kill them, at 15 when you are strong they accuse you of being a part of the rebel group. My family told me I needed to go to the safe place in Khartoum to study and be safe. I was living in Khartoum with my uncle and from there I went to study and go to school, I got my high school certificate. It was still not safe because many Darfurians formed an association to help people in camps and raised money and buy things to send to the IDP camps. I was involved in many Darfurian student organizations. We are living in very terrible conditions. If you come from Darfur, the government accused you of supporting the SLM. I was tortured and arrested for months during this time. I went to jail because they accused me and interrogated me about my involvement in activism. I went to Egypt and then went to Israel. When I came here I was working hard for the community. I was a former spokesperson for another organization Friends of Darfur organization. Also, I work in Azum family organization and I work for Bnai Darfur financially secretary.  Last year in 2014, other guys started to collect Darfurian activists and leaders to come back and reform Bnai Darfur, we realized that its better for us to have one organization. First organization that was founded since Darfurian came to Israel. Even if there are others they can still work under Bnai Darfur. I am now on the board of the organization.

  1. Mind set about the organization

The organization is very important. We are in a critical condition. All over the world Darfurian have left there home. Here we have a body to organize. We can sync together as Darfurian to do our thing. You need an association to connect you. You cannot really do anything without an association or organization. Darfurian who are living here in Israel have a good people to manage all the issues and run the work of an organization. We need to have very strong relations with other organizations. Cooperation is the most important. We like to connect Darfurian with social and cultural activities. If we have a good foundation we can jump to the next issues. We can use this to gage the other goals. Also, we can find the means to get good education for all. This we can use for building the peace.

  1. What are your main priorities

Right now, the things were are focusing on is Cultural and social activities. Show the people that Bnai Darfur is working seriously. We need to empower the people.

New project on Education. People need to have a good education no matter where they are. We are trying to find the means to get education.

Help to those in the IDP Camps, We also need to have a good connection with them.

Connect with other Darfurians outside of Israel and create good relations with them.

Rebuild our relations with other organizations who were once supporting Bnai Darfur. We need to rebuild because it has not been very active. We need to try to regain the parts.

  1. How do you think Bnai Darfur can reach the community?

We can reach them through our active serious work, through our vision and our goals and our act.  We understand our community very well and we understand what means we can bring to help them. Also, through membership so that we will have things that they can come to and influence.

  1. How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

The community will benefit from the organization because they are basis of the organization. Bringing them together is what gives power to the organization. We are the building point. We are able to provide benefits and then we benefit from them being a aprt of the organization. The sources of the association. They community benefits from having this because we can manage their issues. We can have leaders working  on solutions to issues like the general issues of Darfur. This is one of the most important things we would like to focus on. The near future of figuring out the issues and the far future of building a community and being able to go back to our homeland.

  1. How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

I see that Bnai Darfur, is the first Darfurian association and all our things are focused on Darfur, not Sudan we have War in our area. Yes we can work together because we are in the same country and some of our goals overlap. We can help each other and we have similar goals. We also have good cooperation and relations with some international organizations that share our goals and vision.

  1. How will bnai Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

In Chad, we can try to get some help and we try to help them the people in the IDP camp, one of the things they need stuff of life, like clean water. All these issues it is not easy but we have a cooperation with other organizations will help us. It will be easy to try to send some help when you have a bigger organizations that work with refugees because they understand the situation and they can help us and we can give them our support. Chad is a very big bad situation. In south Sudan people are not living in IDP camps, they have many things we do not and their goals are different. They have good schools and help influence good unity and discussion of issues to do what is needed. We will try to open a branch in Bnai Darfur in south Sudan to help implement our goals and our vision.

Bnai Darfur to reach the IDP camps, we in Israel do not have permission to travel and to get them help, we need to travel. We need to have someone to have status. If we have relations we might be able to help those in the camps. Food clothes etc. we can try to send them and they cab receive easily.

  1. How do you its best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

The best way to advocate is to focus on uniting all Darfurians based on social and cultural system. This is the first step. We also need to give awareness of Darfurians on the problems that have been occurring since 2013. People are living in worse conditions in IDP camp and Khartoum where they are being tourtued and discriminated against by the government. We have many people living in Holot, these people escape genocide and they are still living in a really bad condition. All the people from Darfur are suffering. This is one the main issues we need to address. It can eased with clear vision and goals, cooperation, unity and enable the people to envision the biggest goal of returning to the homeland.

  1. Can you explain how your life has been improved/changed since leaving Darfur

I think my life when I was living in Darfur was much worse; I came to Khartoum and my life was changed because I got a basic education because for me education is very important. I got my high school certificate when my family sent me to the city. My hope is not yet completed because I want to study in college also. I strongly stand for it. My life is changed because I was living in a bad condition and had no education. I come to Israel here and my life was also a little bit changed because I realized that our problems in Darfur our not easy and we need many things to help. Israel is a first world country and the life is totally different. The country’s system is very good. Here you have freedom you have move and walk and go to school. I see my life in a much more positive way then before.

  1. What have you learned that others might not know about the issue and circumstances in Darfur

For example, I know Darfurian unity and education is very important for the community. It is also very important for the people to have a good action. You need to work hard and cooperation. You need everything to help enable you to reach your goals.

Most Darfurian are not educated because we are very marginalized, not just in our government but all over. We need a strong people and a good education to empower you.

  1. What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

Social community, education and unity. We want to focus on having good relations and we want to focus getting help to IDP camps and internal displaced people. These people need help so we need to help them.

  1. Did you ever have any doubts

No I didn’t have any doubts working with Bnai Darfur or joining the movement. We need to work on many things. Humanitarian issues, social and political associations. This is priority, we cannot ignore this. This is our issue and our homeland.  Whenever its necessary it’s important and we do not have the opportunity to deny these things.

 

1.      Tell me about yourself

My name is Adam Achmed, I am from Darfur I was born in Dissa Village which is 170 Km from the capital of north Darfur called Al Fashir. I came to Israel in 2008, since I came here I became involved and began to work with the community, mostly with children but also with adults.  For now, I work for Bnai Darfur as the Director of Culture and Education. The part of culture is specifically about how to work with and develop the bond to better be able to share that culture through the share of trend. Like  if there’s a new musician to spread that word. I also work as a teacher, I teach adult students in the evening and help plan for the future to try develop our community specifically through education.  Also, I help with social work, families if they hace problems with children in schools, RSD form, legal problems etc.

2.      Mind set about the organization

My mindset about the organization is to involve more in community work. To help the refugees here but also to help those stll in Darfur. I want to develop the education and share and express the culture of the community with different people.

3.      What are your main priorities

To involve the community, to see if there are any problems and try to fix it, to make life easy for darfurians here especially with integration of culture.

4.      How do you think Bnai Darfur can reach the community?

Through involvement with events. Share culture and create things and discuss with the people about their ideas and needs.

5.      How do you think that this organization will work to benefit the Darfurian community in Israel

With the long term, with education people can study and the community can help develop students and help send them to school so that they can return and help more to do the same thing.  To help people with their specific needs by to make some sort of groundwork so that people can share their experiences with others to get help from other NGO’s, other people in the community etc.

6.      How do you think that the organization will work together with other Darfurian/ Sudanese organizations with the same values?

I think it is a good idea to sit together with people who have the same values and start to cooperate and deal with the issues to work together. If they share the same goals they will start to share together a way to solve them.  If there are other organizations that have the same mission they can work together to solve problems and make the mission and vision happen.

7.      How will bnai Darfur reach displaced people inside the camps in Darfur and how can they work with other refugees in neighboring countries of Darfur (Chad, South Sudan)

First we must be in touch with the NGO’s who are working inside the camp and speak with the leader of the camp and the work with the Darfuri’s who live outside because here to make these thinsg happen and be able to help they need support especially financial. To share the problem and get the people inside the camps to cooperate with NGO’s and people outside to share their experiences and their issues.

8.      How do you its best to present and advocate for the problems in Darfur? (theater, speeches, music) How do you personally present the current issues in Darfur to the rest of the world and the public in Israel ?

Through media, but for me personally through writing. But this is not enough, through theater and cinema and interviews. Meeting people and seminars. There is not only one way, we need to utilize the absundance of ways to advocate.

9.      Can you explain how your life has been improved/changed since leaving Darfur

I don’t know if it has been changed, my childhood was different, I grew up in a very nice way. I grew up in the village with a simple life and dramatically it became different. Im still here and im still suffering but Im not going to give up im working within the suffereing to create a better life.

10.  What have you learned that others might not know about the issue and circumstances in Darfur

Specifically the conflict of Darfur is one of the biggest concersn and things that I have been seeing as something that’s been happening and the problem is not being solved. Most people do not know the difference of culture. In Darfur we use a very simple way of life, no bank, no electricity , donkeys and camels instead of cars. Work for example we work free. People do not exactly understand the way of life we had, so coming here has been a challenge to acclimate.

11.  What kinds of goals do you think that the organization can work towards?

To work hard to develop connections with others, to let others learn form us and learn from others, to make communication to tell stories and experiences, develop education for children, to take meetings to discuss the problems and ideas. Organization is supposed to meet with individual groups like other NGOs and the government to share the stories about Darfur to let them understand and discuss how we can fix the problems.

12.  Did you ever have any doubts

I’m optimistic. Instead of doubt its better to have the mindset that everything will work and we need to move to the positive.