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Hart hosts Camp Darfur

Posted: April 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 10, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart High School students learn about the 20th Century Genocides and Rwanda as part of Camp Darfur, an outreach effort, on March 12. Members of the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force spent time with 600 Hart students to teach them about refugee camps and how to help children living in Darfur.

Early in the morning on March 12, the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force chapter at Hart High School was hard at work, setting up Camp Darfur on their campus.

Located in the center quad of campus, Camp Darfur was an impressive sight to students passing by. The camp consisted of eight United Nations-issued tents, each one focusing on a different topic.

The 20th Century Genocides and Rwanda tents helped educate students about past events while the Darfur, nutrition, medical and education tents taught students about the current plight of refugees in Darfur, Sudan.

The Mobile Library and Donkey Messages tent allowed students to send messages to the kids in refugee camps (Camp Djabal and Goz Amer-located in Eastern Chad) and donate money to Student Task Force’s Mobile Library Project.

This project, launched in November 2011, brings a mobile library via donkey to the six schools in each camp. The library boosts several Kindles and resource materials for teachers to use with the children as they learn English.

The last tent, perhaps the most impactful one, featured artwork from American children alongside artwork from refugee children.

“We wanted to catch our classmates’ attention” Hart High School senior and Student Task Force member Genna
McCarthy said. “There are many issues in the world that teenagers are unaware of. In order to stop global injustice, we need to educate ourselves first.”

Each tent fit eight students and a Student Task Force member, who gave a two-minute speech or demonstration about their topic. The groups of students moved from tent to tent until they made their way through the entire Camp Darfur.

Throughout the day, nearly 600 students visited the camp.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to teach my friends about the situation in Darfur,” senior Taylor James said. “I know a lot more kids would be willing to help out and get involved in making a difference if they understood what was going on.”

The Hart High Student Task Force chapter, along with other chapters in the William S. Hart Union High School District, will focus efforts on raising awareness and support for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that protects each child’s universal human rights.

Abby Gunning is a senior at Hart High School.


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