Fourteen prominent children’s authors have issued a call for immediate aid for the children in Darfur.  A release from United Press International discusses the open letter which was released Saturday demanding the world take action to help stop the suffering in Darfur.  The letter was released Saturday to coincide with a Global Day of Protest marking the fifth anniversary of the conflict.  An article in London’s Sunday Sun focuses on children’s author Anne Fine, who is part the group of 14 authors. Fine, former Children’s Laureate and “the author of books like Ivan the Terrible, The Angel of Nitshill Road, and Madame Doubtfire, on which the film Mrs. Doubtfire was based, said the children of Darfur have lost their childhood.”  In the same article, “Hollywood heart-throb George Clooney, an opponent of the war, said: ‘Days like this matter because they keep what is happening in the eye of the international community.

 Several months ago I attended a ”Save Darfur” rally in my hometown of Columbia, SC.  It was eye-opening to hear what is happening in Darfur.  I saw quoted today that over 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and over 2 million have been forced to flee their homes and villages.  And those estimates are probably low. After attending the rally I wanted to do something to help, but have not followed throught very well.  What can we do?  There are numerous organizations that are working for peace and relief in Darfur.  One I am aware of is the Save Darfur Coalition.  Their website is full of info about the situation in Darfur and has lots of ways that we as individuals can help.

I am currently reading a newly released book The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur.  It is from Random House.  Written by Daoud Hari, who was born in the Darfur region of Sudan,  the book tells how he began serving as a translator for many organizations, from the United Nations to NBC, the BBC, and The New York Times.  The book is non-fiction, but reads much like a novel as Hari tells of the many situations he has been in and the suffering his country has gone through.  I highly recommend the book.