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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

There is a compelling new initiative to empower those with a peaceable vision of a future Sudan. Banaa--a scholarship program to provide Sudanese with an University education in America--was launched under the following premises:

• The root cause of genocide in Darfur is not just racism but regional disparity: since independence, Sudan's government has denied the country's peripheral regions protection, representation and access to vital resources.
• Peace requires something more than a Band-aid: it requires a lasting solution. This means interregional equality and a sea change in the country's political fabric.
• Real peace demands leaders who are compassionate, informed and connected.
• Comprehensive peace requires leaders who represent all communities in Sudan.

Banaa works to facilitate--using higher education--the development of globally connected peacemakers. Ultimately, Banaa seeks to:

• Endow survivors of conflict with tools to navigate global networks of resources and ideas;
• Diversify the international peace movement by supporting Sudanese peace-builders;
• Integrate members of the Sudanese-American Diaspora into education and advocacy programs;
• Safeguard against brain-drain by (a) assisting with placement in NGOs operating in Sudan and (b) offering scholarships contingent on public service;
• Create a successful model for advocate-empowerment in conflict and post-conflict zones.

Jeff DeFlavio

Washington, DC

Oct 25 2007 - 10:35pm