Hillel Students Raise Funds for Darfur at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Darfuri students in refugee camps in eastern Chad are receiving help from their peers a world away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a Jewish student organization, held a bake sale in April to raise funds for Book Wish's reading relief project in Chad. Initiated by library and information science graduate student Jennifer McNaughton, the event brought in more than $100.

In an article in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, McNaughton explained the students' motivation: "we have an appreciation and understanding of not only how important education is, but also how all students should have access to learning. In order to receive an education, tools are required." Hillel's donation will help provide the refugees with one of their most desired educational tools, the Headway series of English as a Second Language books. Learning English is a pre-requisite for college admission in Sudan, a goal many of the refugees dream of achieving.

The event, which also featured a student caricaturist, helped to spread awareness of the refugees' reading needs to a community that values education and helping others. Said McNaughton, "As a student of library science and a major advocate of books and education, I believe it is important that those with resources make them available to those who don’t have them....We saw an outstanding response in those we talked with about the Book Wish project."

Thank you Hillel, UWM, Jennifer McNaughton, and all others who organized or patronized the bake sale! We hope other student groups will follow your lead and join our efforts to provide reading relief for the refugees from Darfur. Any who are interested are encouraged to contact us to discuss how we can work together.