USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Collecting Drawings

Boy holdings his drawing of the war in Darfur.

Source: Waging Peace Darfuri Children's Drawings. A boy holding up his drawing.

Five hundred drawings were collected in the summer of 2007 by Waging Peace, a British non-governmental organization working in refugee camps in eastern Chad and Darfur. While field workers attended to adults in these camps, children continually interrupted them. In order to keep these children busy, they were given paper, pencils and crayons and told to draw anything they wanted about their life. The children, aged 6 to 18 years, ended up drawing pictures depicting their villages being attacked.

Major attacks on Darfur started in 2003 and, four years later, the children vividly recalled assaults on their villages. At the time when the drawings were collected, there were at least ten refugee camps in eastern Chad still housing thousands of Darfuri civilians. Despite being relatively safe, these camps were occasionally attacked.

By March 2007, four months before Waging Peace collected the children's drawings, there were approximately 226,000 Darfuri civilians living in refugee camps in eastern Chad, and peace had still not returned to their homes in Darfur.