Our vision is that this Network will ultimately function as a peer-to-peer-network, where those who have received help in the community1 can identify other individuals in need of assistance and refer them to the same resources and actors. As a community traumatized by genocide, many Darfurians are inherently suspicious of people from outside of the community. Therefore, we would like to provide the opportunity to the community to form a stable, trustworthy network of interpreters, physical and mental health care professionals, social workers, educators, and lawyers to cooperate. Creating this network allows many Darfurians working in relevant fields to take an active role for their community.
At the core of the Network is the coordinator–Kristin J. Rosella, the Marilyn S. Broad Fellow–who possesses the necessary cultural, legal, and social knowledge to be able to:
- Reach out to individual Darfurian women in need;
- Quickly assess the situation of beneficiaries and coordinate the response;
- Study the issues Darfurian women and the community face in order to develop our understanding and calibrate our response;
- Raise awareness of the plight of the Darfurian community in the United States;
- Develop relationships with medical and mental health professionals, lawyers, interpreters, other individuals, and human rights and refugee rights organizations to broaden the Network; and
- Organize and coordinate Health and Human Rights Workshops for the women and their families.
Rosella also calls on key professionals to conduct the initial assessment and ensure that the beneficiaries receive referrals to the right kind of assistance and that their views and needs are respected in the process. The descriptions below highlight why having the right professionals in these positions is crucial.