Darfur Fast for Life

We fast in solidarity with the hungry and starving in Darfur and for lasting peace in Sudan


MiaMia sent a note to friends and fellow Darfur activists, “I am ready to go on a hunger strike.” Mia has visited the Darfur region eleven times, spending countless hours hearing the horrific stories of survivors. She also spent hours creating community with the proud and courageous men, women and children. They did not know about her celebrity back home. They saw someone standing with them at the most difficult and dangerous times.

When Mia told of her fast, this group of friends decided to support and join her. The situation on the ground—more than a million people in imminent danger of dehydration, disease, and starvation—and the long, slow destruction of a society and culture moved Mia to this action. A positive vision of a world in which the human rights of ALL humans is respected is what motivates this group to stand today and tomorrow with the people of Darfur.

Joining and/or supporting Mia are Shannon Sedgwick Davis, from Bridgeway Foundation; Pam Omidyar, from Humanity United; Ruth Messinger, from American Jewish World Service; John Prendergast, from the Enough Project; Jerry Fowler, from Save Darfur Coalition; Gloria White Hammond, from My Sister’s Keeper; Ellen Kennedy, from GI Net MN; and I, Gabriel Stauring and the Stop Genocide Now team. Many more will join.

When deciding to embark on this action, we found inspiration in the life and work of a humble Mexican-American labor activist and leader of the United Farm Workers. Cesar Chavez embarked on fasts to fight for the rights of the voiceless, and his sacrifices lead to improvements in the lives of many.

Cesar Chavez, on fasting:

chavez“A fast is first and foremost personal. It is a fast for the purification of my own body, mind, and soul. The fast is also a heartfelt prayer for purification and strengthening for all those who work beside me in the farm worker movement. The fast is also an act of penance for those in positions of moral authority and for all men and women activists who know what is right and just, who know that they could and should do more. The fast is finally a declaration of non–cooperation.”

“The evil is far greater than even I had thought it to be, it threatens to choke out the life of our people and also the life system that supports us all. This solution to this deadly crisis will not be found in the arrogance of the powerful, but in solidarity with the weak and helpless. I pray to God that this fast will be a preparation for a multitude of simple deeds for justice. Carried out by men and women whose hearts are focused on the suffering of the poor and who yearn, with us, for a better world. Together, all things are possible.”

(Source: http://mu.oregonstate.edu/cesarchavez/bio)

12 Comments to “About”

  1. Trisha Oricht says:

    Its interesting because I had this idea once but didnt know what to do with it! I thought, global hunger-strike because countries like the U.S certainly are not going sit back and let hundreds of us starve to death.

  2. Nancy Cahill says:

    Mia, thank you for inspiring so many of us. As Chavez says, a fast is first of all intensely personal, but talking about it (my fast) and spreading the word is my way of fighting back against man’s inhumanity to man. As I live on refugee rations, and sip a cup of tea, I realize that I have control over what and when I eat, when I get in my car and drive somewhere, and so much else. The people of Darfur have no control over any aspect of their lives. That is almost as dehumanizing as the lack of adequate food and water.

  3. Mia, thank you for inspiring me!!! I am not trying to loose weight, but i am going to try and fast for 4 whole days. ill tell you how that works out for me!!! 🙂

  4. Disgruntled Aid Workers says:

    This is ridiculous. Take all the money you will spend on doctor’s bills getting your check ups to make sure you’re not depleting your bodies and donate it to the hundreds of agencies (many of them Sudanese) still helping the people of Darfur. Starving yourself for a week is not going to accomplish anything. You should also catch up on the latest news, which is that half of the major aid agencies expelled after the ICC indictment are allowed to return to Sudan. This is thanks to Obama’s envoy, not the global fast. You want to do something? Speak to your government or donate your time. But do us a favor – eat something first, we need your energy. Cheers from Darfur 🙂

  5. Magdalena says:

    I agree with “Disgruntled Aid Workers” – starving yourself (& it seems some of you want to do it to lose weight) won’t help as much as donations (both monetary & your time) and putting pressure on your government.

  6. Liz Palmer says:

    This peaceful action, along with a massive push for raised awareness and the actions of hundreds of supporters of other charities (Enough, I-ACT) have assisted in bringing this issue to the forefront of the US foreign policy agenda.This has resulted in a US envoy to Sudan to assess the situation on the ground, and the successful negotiation of 3 aid agencies,under the guise of ‘new names’, to return to Sudan.

    At this stage, the envoy has stated that the situation is stable, a statement that is being refuted by many on the ground in Sudan, and also by the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) Abdel Wahid Al-Nur, who is based in Paris. The situation in the camps remains critical, rule of law is not assured and the people across the border in Chad are not returning home, for fear of repeat attacks.

    Yes, money would help. But we don’t all have money to give.

    A combined strategy of generosity of spirit from a growing support base has led us to this point.

    It is far from being enough, but it is a start.

    We are not “starving ourselves”. This is a controlled fast, which we can break, because we have the choice, and the resources to hand. Fasting is not for everyone, but it can be effective. We all remember Ghandi, and those in the UK will know of Bobby Sands.

    But this action is not just about fasting. This action also advocates pressuring the national and local leaders to make this a priority.

    I am proud to be a part of this. I shall continue to support this Fast for Life for the people of Darfur because I have hope that together we can contribute to peace for the people of Sudan.

    I live in the UK, I joined this fast and this cause because of my raised awareness through this action. In that time, I have passed on the message to many, who now also follow and support. The power of many combined as one is a mighty force indeed, and we would do well to believe that, given what is happening now in Iran, and Peru.

    Your voice will be heard.

  7. My support and love to all of you who have embarked (or thinking of) on this journey of selflessness. Even if you are doing it for (apparently) the wrong reasons, you deserve appreciation as fasting is not easy. There is something transcendental that happens when you Choose to do something for someone else. Kudos and God speed from Wisconsin.

  8. Lynne L says:

    There are always nay-sayers. People should follow their hearts. Fasting is a traditional expression of spiritual connection with the larger world. It would be interesting to fast and contribute the money saved on food toward the aid work in Darfur.

  9. Bahar Arabie says:

    Great work Mohamed keep on

  10. Skye Stiles says:

    I think fasting is a wonderful thing. Not only does it give you the experience that many many many people in Darfur are experiencing but it is a religious action. Fasting has been used as a tool to cleanse a body and the spirit. When your body has nothing to depend on it is able to look within. David fasted and mourned for his sick son and that is found in 2 SAM. 12:15-18.

    Maybe some of you do not believe in God or in fasting but please do not knock the power and experience if you have not yourself lived it. If this is how some people believe will help solve the crisis then let them help in their own way. I am, currently in this present moment, water fasting to support the cause. Maybe it is not much to you but it means a great deal to me. You do not have to like it but please respect it and the many other supporters on this site who are helping in their own way. Buddha, Jesus, Gandi, and many other great people fasted for a more peaceful and better world. Thank you, and thank you to the rest for your continous support. God Bless….S.S.

  11. Dan Walker says:

    Great information!! I am proud to be fasting. I am fasting for 3 days.

    Kind Regards,
    Dan Walker

  12. Sharon Wolfe says:

    I feel this action should not be taken for personal gain (i.e. weight loss), but rather to affect change. The genocide in Darfur has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced more than 2.7 million people. If there is even the slightest chance of making a difference for the people of Darfur by simply obstaining from nourishment for a mere 24 hours I will gladly do so. To those who think genocide can’t happen here in the USA, it has in fact happened here. Look back in your history books to what happened to Native Americans.
    I would like to share a quote:
    “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all_the apathy of human beings.”