‘Tents of Hope’ Raise Awareness of Darfur Crisis

EMU will host two “Tents of Hope” for Darfur on the campus front lawn Oct. 7 and 8, beginning at 9 a.m.

The simulated refugee tents are meant to create awareness and support for the people of Darfur, Sudan, a region in the western part of the country wracked by military conflict and genocide.

Tents of Hope at EMU
EMU Campus Pastor Brian Martin Burkholder (right) talks with student Larisa Zehr and a Tents of Hope spokesman during set-up Tuesday morning.

Peace Fellowship and campus ministries are sponsoring the tents and action/response tables. EMU students, faculty, staff and the broader community are invited to stop in and learn more about Darfar and paint messages of hope and support on a tent.

The tent will be set up and available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oct. 7 and 8. Campus pastor Brian Martin Burkholder (phone 432-4196 or e-mail campusministries@emu.edu) is coordinating the event.

The “Tents of Hope” project is a one-year process in which people respond as communities to the crisis in Darfur.

The tents become “unique works of art and ongoing focal points within communities for learning about, assisting and establishing relationships with the people of Sudan,” according to the website, www.tentsofhope.org. The tents serve as “points of entry for more concrete forms of Darfur advocacy.”

Small community “Tents of Hope” activities are part of an effort leading up to a national event in Washington, D.C., November 7-9, 2008, where planners hope to draw significant attention to Darfur.