Students take a STAND to help Darfur, Myanmar

Ed. Note: Saw this news today in my local paper and was very proud of it. These are kids from the high school I attended and graduated from in 1992.

From The Cape Cod Times

A growing number of Harwich High School students are passing up their chicken quesadillas and other school lunches this week to focus on international tragedies.

The 25 to 30 members of the school’s chapter of STAND, the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network, are fasting dawn to dusk to raise money to protect civilians under attack in Darfur, part of the Sudan, and in Myanmar, which was renamed from Burma by its military rulers.

Their goal is for the entire student body to participate in some way in the fundraiser for the Genocide Intervention Network, the parent of STAND.

The network has earmarked the money to help protect women in Darfur as they gather firewood, and to provide villages in Eastern Myanmar with satellite phones so they can be warned of impending attacks by government forces, according to government teacher and STAND adviser John Dixon.

By Tuesday, students in the school’s lunches were reading the STAND briefing sheet and making donations.

“People need it,” sophomore Aubrey Bachand said when asked why she had dropped her lunch change in one of STAND’s green collection cans.

Some are giving up their school lunch money, $2.25 a day, their daily Starbucks coffee stipend, $3 a day, or the money they devote to their daily chocolate, said STAND co-president and senior MacKenzie Hamilton.

Students also are getting sponsors to pledge money for their fasting. For example, Hannah Schupbach, 17, STAND co-president and senior, is getting support from her mother and her mother’s co-workers at Hospice & Palliative Care of Cape Cod.

This is the third year of the school fundraiser by the Harwich chapter, one of two active chapters on the Cape, Dixon said. About 25 Harwich and 10 Dennis-Yarmouth High STAND members went to the STAND national conference in Washington D.C. in early November.

How To Help:
* Donations can be sent to Harwich High School STAND, 75 Oak St., Harwich, MA 02645
* More information about the students’ campaign is available online at and

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