Waging Peace at Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

We worked hard to profile Sudan's conflicts, in Darfur and elsewhere, during this year's commemorations.

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  1. Waging Peace works hard to raise the profile of Sudan's conflict areas with the British public and UK decision makers. As part of this drive, we were privileged to raise the profile of Darfur for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day, a day which commemorates the horrors of the Holocaust, but also takes in more recent and ongoing genocides globally. Events are held nationwide, but our own Maddy Crowther and Sonja Miley attended the London ceremony filmed for broadcast on the BBC. Survivors from the Holocaust, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Waging Peace's friends from Sudan were present. We did a number of things to ensure that this year's theme of 'Don't Stand By' was given expression in stories from the region, providing contacts, introductions and testimonies to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust team. We've included just a sample of these below. If you scroll down, you'll find a few more things we've been working on recently.
  2. If you want to watch the full BBC coverage, you can catch it on the above link for the next 23 days. Watch from 32:20 to hear testimony from an anonymous Darfuri woman read by Naomie Harris (Moneypenny in the new James Bond films). There was also a live performance by Shurooq Abu el Nas singing 'Um Al Yatama' ('Mother of Orphans'), a song with lyrics written for her by Sudan’s ‘People’s Poet’ Mahjoub Sherif and music by Hamza Suleiman, two former political prisoners. It’s message of sympathy for a struggling war widow led the Sudanese authorities to keep it off the airwaves after its release in 2008. This is later followed by a candle lighting ceremony – and a Darfuri survivor was selected to light the candle representing Darfur.
  3. On our way to the ceremony, we first headed to Westminster Bridge to meet artist Claire Twomey, who was spending the day meeting strangers and handing out 2000 ceramic spoons inscribed with the words "Humanity In Our Hands" to commemorate the day. Find out more about why in this piece in The Times.
  4. Here's a closer look at the spoon Maddy got: "If humanity is in our hands it needs supporting..."
  5. Then we made our way to Guildhall.
  6. We made sure to tweet about our impressions.
  7. As did others...
  8. After the event in Guildhall, we managed to snap pics of ourselves with a few famous faces...
  9. There were other HMD events being held around the country. Waging Peace friend Mukesh Kapila led activities in Scotland, giving talks and explaining his role as the UN employee who blew the whistle on abuses in Darfur. Here Mukesh is showing our children's drawings of the genocide to Holocaust child survivor Inge Auerbacher.
  10. And here's his blog...
  11. We were also in touch with the Holocaust Memorial Day Scotland team, who led this project to have residents in Falkirk made small clay statues while a volunteer spoke to them about the situation in Darfur. The project is titled 'I Ken Now', with 'ken' meaning 'know' in the Scottish dialect.
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