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Rachel Boulden ′06

I’ve never been to a football game and my dream job is to be a refugee camp manager.

Some people think I’m weird. I just think I’m intolerant of injustice, and the more I see the more passionate I become. That’s why I went to Bosnia to work with children orphaned or traumatized by the genocide there.

Back at Rhodes, I became involved with Bands for Sudan, a fund-raiser at a local skate park to raise money for Sudanese aid and refugees. Learning about the plight of the refugees in this country and, more specifically, in Memphis, made me further realize that I had to do something to help. They go through so much before they get here, and there is so much more they have to face. Most of the refugees I know are just learning to speak English and are trying to support their children in addition to trying to reimburse the government for their airline tickets to freedom. Their children are placed in school based on age, not educational background. Yet they are almost invariably cheerful and grateful to be here.

I’m convinced that if more people knew their story, they would want to help, too. To try to further awareness of the situation, I worked with the campus group STAND (Students Taking Action Now—Darfur) to stage a mock refugee camp at Rhodes. So many people and groups pitched in to help! Memphis College of Art students made signs, local boy scouts pitched the tents, University of Tennessee medical students came to talk about malnutrition and other health issues. The visitors who came stayed a long time and asked a lot of questions. I believe they will now do what they can to help.

Do you want to help? Bands for Sudan has evolved into United Action International. Google us.

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