Students' initiative reaches White House - Catholic Courier

Students’ initiative reaches White House

Elmira Notre Dame High School’s awareness-raising effort about an African war has caught the attention of the White House.

The school received a call from the White House on May 31 acknowledging receipt of approximately 400 letters written to President George W. Bush. Notre Dame students asked the president to take action regarding the conflict in Darfur, located in the western part of Sudan. The region has been the scene of massive killings, famine, slavery and family displacement since an uprising by rebel groups against Arab militias that began in early 2003.

Several Notre Dame students were also part of a community coalition that staffed an informational table during a showing of “Hotel Rwanda” at the Heights Theatre in April.

“At that time, we asked moviegoers to take info on Darfur and sign letters to Senators Clinton and Schumer and the president, urging stronger leadership by the U.S.,” noted Kathy Dubel, justice-and-peace coordinator for Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler, which was also a part of the coalition.

Along with the letter-writing campaign, Dubel said students raised $1,000 for Catholic Relief Services’ “Africa Rising, Hope and Healing” project.

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