(Columbia) - Since 2003, more than three million people in western Sudan have been driven from their homes, and more than 400,000 innocent victims have been killed.
It's a form of genocide and there are dozens of groups around the country trying to bring attention to what is happening, including one in the midlands.
Saturday, the Darfur Action Group of South Carolina is hosting a rally at the State House at 2 p.m.
While Robert Cely plans on attending, he already knows about the pain and suffering going on in Sudan first hand.
He showed us a picture of a rocket propelled grenade stuck out of a tree in the middle of a Sudanese town in 2000.
“The war had been going on there at that time for nearly 20 years, and it seemed like the world had forgotten those people,” said Robert.
But how could Robert forget: innocent people put to death by their own government, forced to flee to refugee camps, only to die of disease and starvation. All wonderful and appreciative people, he says.
So Robert made the trip twice. The second: delivering medicine to more than 1,700 people in four days.
“We brought tens of thousands of dollars worth of medicine. In fact, the de-wormer itself was $20,000 dollars of pills,” said Robert.
Doctor Richard Sribnick has never been there, but he’s making none of us forget Sudan. He's one of the organizers of the rally at the State House.
“When thousands of people gather outside our statehouse, they're going to know that's what South Carolina represents, not the controversy, but the good heartedness of our state,” said Dr. Sribnick.
He says the first of it's kind rally in South Carolina will not solve the Darfur crisis, but rather show our intolerance of the violence. It will also give folks like Robert a stronger backbone from home on his next mission trip to Sudan.
“I think you go to these places thinking what you're going to give to these people, but you come back thinking what they've given to you,” said Robert.