*****If you aren't already familiar with the concept of BookCrossing, please visit their website, www.BookCrossing.com.***** BookCrossing is fun, fast, free, easy, and anonymous. The website tracks over 4,000,000 books on their journies between readers across the globe. Over 600,000 people, from Antarctica to Zimbabwe, have joined the campaign ("Make the Whole World A Library") since it began in 2001.
READ ("Respond in Earnest Action for Darfur") is a BookCrossing Challenge designed to shed light upon ongoing atrocities in the Sudan. The idea is to use BookCrossing books as a medium to educate others about the genocide. Each book registered through the website will be labled with info. about the crisis, as well as website links for additional information.
Since 2003, the Sudanese government and a government-backed militia called the Janjaweed have led a campaign of violence, displacement, rape, and murder of the civilian population in the Darfur region of Sudan. Over 400,000 have been killed, and 2.5 million are displaced. In 2003, the U.S. government declared the situation to be genocide. Every month, thousands more refugees die.
Now, we challenge other BookCrossers to help raise awareness of the ongoing genocide in Darfur and get involved. You are encouraged to set up events, or attend any of those which are already scheduled from coast to coast. Some events build awareness or educate, others are for lobbying government leaders to demand they take action now to implement economic sanctions and ensure effective peacekeeping.
Releasing a book with a "READ" label is a simple but effective action you can take against genocide. We want to release as many READ books as possible to bring attention to the crisis in the Darfur region. Especially, when you see Darfur related events in your area, please make every effort to attend, and take along at least one book to release. On your book label or in your journal entry, please enclose a personal reflection on this crisis, or maybe a prayer for peace for this region. To call greater attention to steps one can take to help end the genocide, you can enclose a bookmark like these BookCrossing READ Challenge labels: HERE, please see top for more. Also, please make sure that the labels are fully expanded - we don't want illegible labels being pasted onto books, now do we?!
Check regularly for events in your area (or set up your own). These links may help:
• Save Darfur Coalition - www.savedarfur.org
• Genocide Intervention Network - www.genocideintervention.net
• STAND: Students Take Action Now Darfur - www.STANDnow.org
• Stop Genocide Now - www.stopgenocidenow.org
"The term 'Genocide' was coined by a jurist named Raphael Lemkin in 1944 by combining the Greek word 'genos' (race) with the Latin word 'cide' (killing). Genocide as defined by the United Nations in 1948 means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, including: (a) killing members of the group (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group (c) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or part (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
Click here for more info!
• Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 - 200,000 Deaths
• Rwanda: 1994 - 800,000 Deaths
• Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 - 2,000,000 Deaths
• Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 - 6,000,000 Deaths
• Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 - 300,000 Deaths
• Stalin's Forced Famine: 1932-1933 - 7,000,000 Deaths
• Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 - 1,500,000 Deaths
Those who want to share their love of reading with those in Africa who are less fortunate, may do so through Books for Africa.
When you register books to help my challenge, please consider using this in your journal entry:
Released for READ - Respond in Earnest Action for Darfur Challenge to support the refugees in the Darfur, Sudan region.
We thank you fellow Bookcrossers for your compassionate support, remembering, reading, and releasing books as you continue to take action to help these refugees in the Sudan region.
We offer our prayers to those currently suffering from this genocide, as well as to anyone who has connections to genocide or who knows someone whose life was affected by such atrocity. We wish all of you peace. Thanks for your support.