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The Darfur Womens Centers provide solar cookers to refugees

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:43 am    Post subject: The Darfur Womens Centers provide solar cookers to refugees Reply with quote

The Darfur Womens Centers
An initiative of Darfur Peace and Development Organization

Since February 2003, the Government of Sudan has perpetrated genocide on the indigenous African tribes of Darfur. Rape and sexual violence against women and children have been persistent, widespread and noted repeatedly by many human rights groups as well as the United Nations 2005 International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur. Reports from many sources indicate a realistic estimate of the number of victims to be in the tens of thousands.

Sexual violence against Darfur women is both a human rights and public health crisis. Victims endure physical injuries, unwanted pregnancies, miscarriages and other reproductive complications, psychological illness, ostracism by their husbands and families, and accusations of adultery. An estimated 90% of Darfur women have been subjected to Female Genital Cutting, making them more vulnerable to injury, AIDS infection and other sexually transmitted diseases from sexual assault. Most victims suffer the debilitating effects of sexual violence in silence, isolation and depression.
. The services of the Darfur Womens Centers are urgently needed for the near-term treatment of survivors, and are crucial for the long-term evolution of services for womens health throughout Darfur

The Darfur Womens Centers will equip Darfurian women on an individual and collective basis with the resources to resolve the consequences of sexual trauma. The approach is holistic -- integrating psychological, social, educational, and economic elements.

The Centers will
1. Provide confidential counseling, including basic reproductive health services, to survivors of sexual violence;
2. Establish support groups for sexual trauma survivors and in that context provide a forum to assess income-generation potential, and to plan micro-enterprises, including the use and distribution of solar stoves;
3. Foster mens acceptance and support of survivors through the Dara, the traditional gathering for discussion of issues relevant to the village/camp. These gatherings will also be used to encourage couple/ family counseling;
4. Conduct a training program for Darfurian women to continue the work of victim assistance in the camps and in post-conflict Darfur

The one-year budget for establishment and operation of the Darfur Womens Centers is $824,700

Womens Centers will be established in three North Darfur camps: Abu Shouk near El Fashir with an estimated 118,000 IDPs, Kassab near Kuttum, with 98,000, and Masteria near Kabkabiya, with 80,000.

Darfur Peace and Development Organization (DPDO) is a US-based non-profit, nonsectarian organization. Established in 2002 by expatriate Sudanese from Darfur, its mission is to promote peace and to help restore the fabric of the Darfurian community through sustainable development. DPDO currently operates two program in Darfur: The Atrocity Crimes documentation Project funded by the MacArthur Foundation, and the Darfur Schools Program, funded by support from student groups and schools throughout the US.

DPDO anticipates cooperative agreements with UNFPA, CHF International, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Medecins du Monde -- all with related programs in Darfur.

The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) will provide training. Trauma expert and President of the Association for Disaster and Mass Trauma Studies, Dr. Anie Kalayjian will consult on staff selection and orientation. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has agreed to facilitate logistical and referral partnerships between DPDO and other NGOs in Darfur. A trusted network of associates in Darfur allows DPDO to operate efficiently in the difficult environment of the region.

For further information contact:
Susan Burgess-Lent, Project Manager
Email: sburgesslent@h
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