|Eritrean Democratic Association, Inc. (EDA) Addressed the North America Eritrean
People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) Regional Conference at Radisson Hotel in
A Delegation representing the Board of Directors for the Eritrean Democratic Association addressed the Eritrean
regional conference that gathered at Radisson Hotel in Indianapolis, IN on June 10, 2012. The conference attendees
representing Eritrean chapters affiliated with EDA, Inc. arrived from various US and Canadian cities.
The Delegation presented the mission and activities of the non-profit corporation, EDA, Inc., focusing on the following
current active projects:
• Supporting the Wad-Sherifey Refugee School at Kassala, Sudan which currently educates up to 600 refugee
Eritreans from 1st through 8th grade.
• Supporting the center for the wounded veterans and disabled Eritreans in Kassala, Sudan.
• Supporting the project of sponsoring refugee children.
• Human rights advocacy campaign.
The Board of directors’ delegation further explained the situation of the Eritrean people under the dictatorial regime
of President Issaias Afewerki that is causing a large influx of Eritreans to the neighboring countries and beyond to
escape repression. Over the last twenty years, the regime has been conscripting Eritreans between the ages of 15
and 50 to an indefinite mandatory military service. This never-ending forced military conscription has caused and
continues to cause a widespread national disaster, depriving Eritrean youth the fundamental right to social,
economic, civil and political participation, including leading a decent life in the country they love.
The delegation also gave highlights of Eritrean refugees who are languishing in the refugee camps of neighboring
countries - in Northern Ethiopia and Eastern Sudan. The delegation further underlined that the majority of Eritrean
refugees are increasingly trying to reach European countries and Israel across the Sinai desert and high seas, risking
being the victim of human traffickers and Arab Bedouins. Over the last ten years, many Eritreans have fallen prey to
human traffickers in which they were either held for ransom, killed, sold, or harvested for their organs. The delegation
called on the participants to help stop this national tragedy by appealing to the international human rights
organizations and UN.
The delegation also presented EDA’s primary focus to help the Wad-Sherifey School by holding fund-raising events to
ensure a sustained service of teaching to Eritrean Refugees. A 12 minute video clip was shown to participants with a
purpose to inform them about the budget shortfall the Wad-Sherifey Eritrean refugee school is facing for the fiscal
year of 2012/2013. Since its foundation in 1984, the school has operated on funds entirely contributed by private
individuals, and by members of EDA in partnership with nonprofit humanitarian organizations whose mission is to help
educate refugee children, as there is no state run school in the camp.
The school uses contributed funds for high priority expenditures of the school, which includes:
• Students’ textbooks and supplies
• Salary for 18 fulltime instructors, including one school administrator and his assistant
• Two fulltime school guards
• To provide clean drinking water for students
At the end of the conference, the delegation held a successful fundraising event for the Wad-Sherifey refugee school
in Kassala, Sudan and raised well in excess of expectation.
Human Rights: The conference participants remembered and expressed their concerns to the member of EPDP
leadership, Mohamed Ali Ibrahim, whose whereabouts is unknown since February 12, 2012. He disappeared from
Kassala, Sudan where he resided with his family. In addition, the participants urged The Government of Sudan and
international organizations to help locate and bring him back safely to his family.