TAMIU Students Join Darfur Dream Team
Posted: 7/7/11

TAMIU Students Join Darfur Dream Team Sister
School Program, Raise Community Awareness

Darfur is located thousands of miles away from Laredo, in Africa, but a group of Texas A&M International University students has formed a campus organization to raise community awareness about world conflict areas and the global refugee crisis.

The Darfur Dream Team Sister School Program at TAMIU, sponsored by the TAMIU Leadership Program and The Enough Project in Washington, D.C., is designed to partner American schools with their peers in Darfur refugee camps in eastern Chad.

Dr. Barbara Baker, TAMIU First Year Seminar instructor, said that the organization will allow TAMIU students to raise community awareness about world conflict areas and fundraise to support education in refugee camps.

“Through this outreach, Darfur refugees will gain some access to a quality education and cross cultural connections are empowered and affirmed between American students and Darfur refugees,” Dr. Baker said, “There are 15 students who are members of the Darfur Dream Team Sister School Program at TAMIU.”

Darfur Dream Team Sister School Program was co-founded by Human Rights Activist John Prendergast and NBA basketball star Tracy McGrady after a refugee camp visit in Darfur, Baker said.

“Darfur is currently under attack by the Khartoum Government Regime to prevent democracy talks between Northern and Southern Sudan,” she said, “Due to this fact, it is expected that more Darfur residents will be displaced in refugee camps and in need of basic human essentials to survive.”

Conflict areas also include those in some African nations such as Sudan and Congo, where the Lord’s Resistance Army, a militia group, engages in massacre of innocent people, burning villages, raping women and abducting children to be soldiers and sex slaves, explained Baker, citing research by the Enough Project.

The TAMIU Dream Team members are actively meeting this summer to plan educational activities for World Refugee Day, Baker said.

One planned activity is to show a movie on campus titled, "Three Points," which is a documentary on NBA basketball star Tracy McGrady’s visit to Darfur, Baker said.

“'Three Points' gives a candid, informative, and thought-provoking portrayal on the realities of refugee camps and human atrocities,” she said.

Dream Team members have also planned a fundraiser to support Darfur humanitarian efforts, Dr. Baker said.

On Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m., there will be a screening of "Darfur Now" on the 2nd Floor of the Student Center.

The organization will be selling Chick-fil-A Lunch and Drinks to raise funds for Darfur on Wednesday Sept. 7 from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on the TAMIU Green.

In addition, students hope to make presentations about conflict areas and refugee camps at local schools, Baker said.

The Dream Team Program fits TAMIU’s mission of providing students quality instruction with an international scope, Baker said.

“One thing that this Program will do is to get students out of their comfort zone and provide them an opportunity to get educated about what is happening in many developing countries,” she said.

For more information about the Dream Team and students interested in participating in the Program can contact Baker at 326.2744, e-mail barbara.baker@tamiu.edu

TAMIU Summer Office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 am. – noon Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu