.- Returning from a tour of relief projects in the Sudan, both the star and producer of the movie âBellaâ praised the work while drawing attention to the plight of the Sudanese people. The two emphasized the need to put faith in action. On the trip over $2 million in food, medicine and other aid was distributed under the aegis of the Persecution Project Foundation, the Human Rights Education and Relief Organization (HERO) and Manto de Guadalupe (MdG).
âI hope that all will recognize that it is possible to make a difference to those who are suffering," said Eduardo VerÃ¡stegui, founder of MdG and star of the movie âBella.â
The Persecution Project has helped build 26 new water wells in the Sudan, where an estimated 500,000 people have been killed in the Darfur region and two million more have become internally displaced refugees within the last six years.
The population of the area of the Darfur region which the Persecution Project serves has grown from less than 100 people to 90,000 during the same period.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, responding to an arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court at The Hague, recently expelled more than a dozen foreign aid organizations already in the Sudan.
VerÃ¡stegui said it was âa privilegeâ to be part of the trip with Persecution Project Foundation. He also praised the foundationâs president, Brad Phillips, saying his work âshould serve as an inspiration to all concerned with the plight of human rights.â
The movie starâs organization Manto de Guadalupe is dedicated to providing housing for the impoverished in developing countries.
Jason S. Jones, president of HERO and co-executive producer of Bella, praised the âinvaluable workâ of the Persecution Project and described his experience on the trip as âhumbling.â
âHERO is committed to promoting the dignity of the human person at all stages, from the child in womb to the child in Darfur. From the embryo to the elderly, we must be consistent in our stand to honor the intrinsic worth of every person,â he said.
Jones arranged for HERO to purchase a healthy cow to provide milk for an orphanage and school supported by the Persecution Project.
VerÃ¡stegui called for prayers and charitable work, saying âWe must all remember to keep the plight of these precious people in our prayers. But it is equally important to remember the scriptural warning that 'faith without works is dead,' and therefore we must also back our prayers with whatever actions we can rally.â