"One of the first things you notice when walking around Yida is the sheer number of children everywhere. Many of the kids here have been separated from their parents due to the war in the Nuba Mountains. Some watched their parents be murdered by the government. You would think that after what they have been through, they would be angry, sad, or depressed. But more often than not, they smile and play just like every other kid in the world." -Mark Hackett, Executive Director of Operation Broken Silence. Photo by Katie Barber.
Mark recently led our expanded film team back to Yida Refugee Camp. Yida sits right on the international border that divides Sudan and South Sudan. The camp has exploded in size with refugees fleeing from the Nuba Mountains of Sudan due to widespread government attacks against unarmed communities. When Mark first visited Yida in 2012, the camp hosted around 15,000 people. Today, over 65,000 people call Yida home.
One of the great joys of filmmaking in Sudan is the sheer number of moments like these you get to capture. Despite the deplorable human rights situation in Sudan, progress is being made to change and save lives despite the virtually always negative news and information coming out of Sudan and the refugee camps. Our education program in Yida is helping to put teachers back to work and kids just like this back into classrooms where they belong.
As people who care deeply about Sudan and its people, we should make it a point to spend more time understanding the progress that is being made on this front and many more to see peace and justice in Sudan in our lifetime. And we should celebrate the fact that despite the Sudanese government's genocidal campaign in the Nuba Mountains, these children still play, dream, and smile like they should be doing.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling, education, advocacy, and emergency relief programs.
Thousands of children in Yida still do not have access to a classroom. In the coming months and years we will be placing a huge emphasis on making sure that every child here gains access to a free education. Here's 3 ways you can help us keep moving in that direction:
1. Support Teachers Monthly. Dozens of teachers in Yida watched their schools get bombed in the Nuba Mountains. Now you can help put them back to work. GIVE MONTHLY »
2. Fundraise For Our Education Program. In less than a minute you can start your personal fundraising page and start raising $200 for Nuba education. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »
3. Make A One-Time Donation. We know that everyone can't invest long-term in this project. You can still pitch in by making a generous donation. GIVE HERE »