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July 17th, 2015

20 years after: Remembering Srebrenica

type:Donation, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

During the Balkans conflict of 1992-1995, the Bosnian town of Srebrenica was declared a “UN Safe Area” in 1993, under the watch of the United Nations Protection Force.

In July 1995, General Ratko Mladić and his Serbian paramilitary units overran and captured the town, despite its designation as an area “free from any armed attack or any other hostile act”.

In the days following Srebrenica’s fall, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were systematically massacred and buried in mass graves. Thousands of women, children and elderly people were forcibly deported and a large number of women were raped. It was the greatest atrocity on European soil since the Second World War (!).

The International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia ruled that the mass execution of Bosniak men and boys in Srebrenica constituted genocide.

Remembering Srebrenica is an initiative with the aim to encourage everyone in society to learn about the consequences of hate and discrimination. They organize events commemorating the genocide of Srebrenica by working with local organisations in different cities and towns throughout the United Kingdom.

Support this more than necessary project by donating, volunteering or organizing a memorial event and help future generations to be informed and fight against blind, racially motivated violence!
July 09th, 2015
"Undoing" environmental damage by buying new laces?
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The shoe is one of the most environmentally damaging items we wear due the raw materials used and intensity of manufacturing processes. According to an MIT study, a typical shoe has a carbon footprint of 30 pounds of CO2. 25 billion shoes are sold in the world per year - the carbon footprint of the global shoe industry is close to that of the entire country of Italy!

So UNDO Labs created a product to "undo" the damage of the shoe industry. How do they achieve that? A shoe is meaningless without its laces. So why not buy a pair of undo laces? UNDO Labs offsets the carbon footprint of a pair of shoes by purchasing carbon offset credits from a wind energy, solar energy or reforestation project on the customer's behalf. They do this by going through 3rd party carbon offset vendors. If everyone in the world had an UNDO Lace for every shoe they owned, the carbon footprint of the entire shoe industry would be offset!

Help the creators of UNDO laces in reducing the environmental damage on or planet through the shoe industry and be part of a smart project promoting sustainability and environmental responsability - one shoe at a time.
Shell fighter
July 08th, 2015
Shell: Let’s make a pledge to finish what we started!
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Shell have spent 3 years trying to get the green light to drill in the Arctic. Obama gave them the go-ahead, but with constant scrutiny and pressure from millions of people across the world, regulators have been forced to finally address Shell's incompetence: This week the news broke that US regulators have slashed Shell’s potential for drilling by half. Greenpeace's three year long campaign has shown the world that Shell cannot be trusted with the Arctic.

There are millions of supporters who’ve built the campaign to save the Arctic. They believe in protecting the Arctic for generations to come and that an investment isn’t an investment if it destroys our planet. That’s why all of us have to do absolutely everything we can to keep Shell out of the Arctic for good. Are you in?

Then sign the petition and help Greenpeace to gain more publicity, increasing the pressure on Shell and showing their incompetence in the most public way possible!

Photo: Vincenzo Floramo/Greenpeace
June 30th, 2015
Time is running out!
type:NGO, Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

A new Arctic oil rush has begun. Reckless companies like Shell, Gazprom, Statoil, and Exxon want to invade the fragile Arctic, risking a devastating oil spill for only three years worth of oil.

The Arctic is home to incredible wildlife, from majestic polar bears to blubbery walruses and mysterious narwhals. But all Arctic species depend on sea ice to survive, and the ice is vanishing with terrifying speed. Amid global climate change it's warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. In the last 30 years 75% of the summer sea ice volume has disappeared.

Protecting the Arctic means protecting us all.

Act now to stop an oil spill in the Arctic before it starts and to protect the Arctic ecosystem before it's too late!
June 27th, 2015
Furnish the Rroma Information Centre!
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Rroma Information Center (RIC) e.V. was founded in August 2011 and provides a platform for Rroma activists to raise their voices and show the variety of perspectives on topics like politics, education, art and culture and contribute to the (self-)reflection of society.

To this date, the concerns of Rroma people are primarily represented out of non-Rroma perspective which is why keywords linked to Rroma people, such as "not integrated", "uneducated" and "unprofessional", are dominant in society and become self-fulfilling prophecies. The Rroma Information Center wants to oppose an independent and emancipated team of activists providing a quality information-platform and a safe space for Rroma people.

Currently the RIC staff mostly works with donated old furniture and computers. The devices often behave faultily, the furniture doesn't really fulfill the needs of daily working routine. Unfortunately an application for financial support has been rejected recently. The RIC decided therefor to start a crowdfunding campaign to purchase the urgently needed material.

Help the RIC to furnish their work space and pledge for a more efficient Rroma Information Center!

Credits: "The Beauties of Auschwitz" by Ceja Stojkas, artist of Rroma descent
Photo: Diego Castellano
Confederate flag
June 21st, 2015
Make all symbols of hate disappear!
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Confederate Flag still flies out of homes and cars, even on public squares and next to governmental monuments in the South of the United States. One can ask why, since the red flag with its cross out of blue "bars and stars" is a clear historical symbol for century-long racially motivated violence and hate. Hate against anyone who is not white, christian and heterosexual. Hate against the majority of this world basically, but especially against black people in the United States.

This flag represents the Confederate States of America during the US-American Civil War when the South was vehemently fighting to keep slavery as a means to maintain and enhance economic prosperity for white plantation owners. The Civil War was ended in 1865, slavery of black people was abandoned, the era of the Confederate Staes of America over.

On Wednesday nine people of a black community in Charleston were shot by a white male teenager in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church - the first independent black church in America for nearly two hundred years. The message of these killings is as clear as the message of the Confederate Flag: That black people are worth less than white people and thus have no right to live.

All people still flying, waving, posting, printing and distributing the Confederate Flag or claiming that it's simply a symbol of "Southern pride and heritage" may reconsider what this heritage actually means. This is the 21st century, your President is black, wake up and get rid off those symbols of hate!

Sign the petition adressed to the South Carolina State House, The South Carolina State Senate, and Governor Nikki Haley to remove the Confederate Flag from all governmental places.
June 19th, 2015
Stop elephant extinction
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, NGO, Petition, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

100 elephants a day are dying - shot sometimes from helicopters, their faces cut off by machetes often while still alive - just to produce ivory trinkets. What's worse is that this savagery is managed by organised criminals who help fund some of the most dangerous terror groups in the world.

Killing elephants is serious business - as wild elephants die out, the price for stockpiles of ivory skyrockets. Now poachers are on a race to kill as many elephants as they can. The clock is against us and if the current rate of killing continues, in little more than a decade, there may be no wild elephants, only graves.

But now there’s reason to hope: China just announced it will phase out its ivory industry and there is legislation in eleven US states calling for a ban on ivory trading. It’s a tipping point moment in this fight for these majestic animals and we can make sure demand everywhere dries up by funding a flood of campaigns in the US, Thailand and Vietnam to kill the biggest ivory markets anywhere.

Pledge an amount for the avaaz-Team to fund their species-saving work and save our elephants!
June 17th, 2015
Saving food equals saving lives!
type:Donation, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

BOROUME, which means “we can” in Greek, is a non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste and the distribution of surplus food for charity throughout Greece. Since its beginning in 2011 more than 2 million meals of surplus food have been donated to welfare organizations.

BOROUME is a communication hub between food donors and welfare organizations (welfare institutions, soup-kitchens, municipal social services) that creates “bridges” between those who have surplus food and wish to donate it and those who need it.

In the three years of its operation, BOROUME has created thousands of such “bridges”, often of permanent nature, and today offers on average more than 3.000 portions of food per day through its network.

Through its innovative model of utilizing food that otherwise would end in the garbage, its educational program and its awareness campaigns, BOROUME aims at creating a social movement against food waste.

Support this project by volunteering, donation of money or simply food!
June 15th, 2015
South Africa: arrest al-Bashir for genocide
by:Murat Suner

Troops under al-Bashir’s command in Darfur have spent years attacking and destroying villages, chasing survivors into the dessert, surrounding refugee camps, killing almost 500,000 and uprooting millions of civilians from land they occupied for centuries. When applying for a warrant for his arrest, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) said clearly that al-Bashir’s “intent was genocide” and that he wanted to erase the history of an entire people.

The ICC is still young and because of political maneuvers, al-Bashir has avoided arrest in several countries over the years. Some -- including the ANC -- have criticized the court for focusing on crimes in Africa. But most of the cases at the ICC were brought forward by the countries themselves and Sudan is one of just two cases where the Security Council managed to agree to bring perpetrators to the court. And when it comes to crimes as horrific as those in Darfur, its justice that should matter, not politics.

The law is clear -- South Africa is a member of the ICC and is required to cooperate with the arrest warrant. The ANC already tried to give al-Bashir immunity and political pressure could lead the court to give in, but a massive global outcry could create a media wave strong enough to keep politics out. Click now to show the South African government that the world expects justice:

For international law to work, there can’t be loopholes for international criminals. For there to be justice, our governments must put aside politics and act in the interests of humanity.

Join the petition and help ensure that Darfur’s victims finally get the justice they deserve.
June 10th, 2015
Breaking the isolation through education
type:Donation, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

In spring 2013 the founders of "Teachers on the Road" started a tour through more than 50 refugee shelters throughout Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. On this tour they encountered numerous defiancies: Fully overcrowded and and down-and-out camps, lack of medical care, no access to the Internet and often no way for the refugees to learn German. This means total isolation for people.

When they asked the refugees about their concerns the most frequently expressed desire was to learn German as soon as possible.
This is how Teachers on the road came to life. The aim is to break the isolation under which most refugees have to suffer and to allow them more social participation by learning the local language.

The project is now running for 2 years. In Frankfurt, Oberursel, Mainz, Darmstadt and Ludiwgshafen groups of voluntary teachers offer free lessons in German language 2-5 times per week for refugees. Since the start of the project a total of about 250 teachers teach refugees in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate.

In order to expand the project to other regions of Germany and to carry out initiative events, "Teachers on the road" is dependent on donations. Also for the purchase of German books and to cover travel costs and printing costs for their self-created teaching materials, they are in need of funds. The project is constantly in need of people who would like to teach refugees in German or to assist them with administrative formalities or finding accommodation.

Support this important and meaningful project by donating or- if you are living in one of the German regions mentioned above- take action and become a teacher on the road!