(reposted from http://pacodes.blogspot.com/)
Patrick Springer, The Forum www.in-forum.comPublished Thursday, September 25, 2008
Supporters will walk from Fargo to Moorhead on Oct. 4 to raise money to help build a community library in a remote area that once was home to local “Lost Boys” from southern Sudan.
The event, which involves a walk of about three miles, will raise money for PACODES, a local nonprofit organization that is working to build a library in Panyijiar County, home to about 120,000 people.
“The importance of this event is to raise money and awareness of the need for services in southern Sudan,” said Justin Machien Luoi of Fargo, one of the event’s organizers.
PACODES has raised almost $30,000 of the estimated $100,000 that will be needed to build the library, including transportation and logistic costs.
Donors already have given more than 50,000 books for the library, and two organizations – Books for Africa and Better World Books – have pledged to help move the books to the remote area.
The walk route begins near North Dakota State University and ends at Concordia College, a route that underscores organizers’ hopes that students from Fargo-Moorhead colleges and universities will take part.
“We’re going to try to organize students at all three campuses,” said Roy Hammerling, a religion professor at Concordia and another project organizer. Fifty Concordia students are active in helping PACODES.
College students in Chicago and Peoria, Ill., participated in earlier fundraising events.
Organizers hope to start construction on the library during the upcoming dry season, which is from November to May.
During the wet times the rest of the year, heavy rains and flooding make transportation difficult or impossible, but some construction work is possible, Luoi said. He is one of an estimated 1,000 in the Sudanese community in Fargo-Moorhead, including perhaps 300 “Lost Boys,” refugees forced to flee by civil war in the 1990s.
If you go
- What: 2008 walkSUDAN fundraiser to build a library in Sudan
- When: Registration from 8:30 to 9 a.m. Oct. 4,; walk from 9:15 to about 11 a.m.
- Where: Walk starts at Roosevelt Park, 10th Street and 12th Avenue North, Fargo. Walk ends at Concordia College bell tower.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522