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Support projects we like
September 06th, 2017

Support the 1st International Transgender Festival in India!

type:Allgemein, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

At the outset, Trans Diamond is a 5-day long festival dedicated to celebrate diversity and be the platform for active citizenship and international collaboration. The festival contains a set of distinctive events that brings world leading transgender activists, like-minded corporations, government bodies, communities, civil societies, leading LGBTIQ* groups, artists, film-makers and policy makers together. The larger aim of the festival is to foster international collaboration and accelerate the movement.

Transgender movement across the world has reached an accelerated phase where the community is fighting for basic rights, identity and acceptance. Despite the increasing acceptance and mainstream media discussion, transgender individuals still face socio-economical
and systemic barriers across the world. These challenges make it important for an international cooperation to foster the empowerment of transgender individuals.

Using Arts as tool for social change, the Festival draws attention to a wide range of issues faced by the transgender community. Leveraging the power of creative and performing arts, the Festival aims to catalyse the struggle for equal rights, acceptance and sensitize society. The Festival will also identify leaders from within the community, build capacities to engage in a
dialogue with policy-makers and society at large to highlight pertinent issues. Right from capacity building workshops, open forum to film festival, social beauty pageant and a musical performance, the Festival is a confluence of arts, intellect, humanity and hope.

If you work within the sector of transgender rights, are committed to driving positive social change within your community and/or are just a passionate and a concerned citizen – get involved and contribute to create a festival for all!
August 30th, 2017
Support the War Childhood Project!
type:Authors, Donation, Education, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Entering the War Childhood Museum in the historical centre of Sarajevo, the first thing visitors can see is a colorful swing for children. An item like any other, one might think, until one reads a text on the wall describing its history and meaning for a small boy somewhere in the Yugoslavian countryside, in a region of what is today the nation of Bosnia and Hercegovina. This little swing was the only thing which made him forget the miseries and difficulties, the loss and pain a child has to endure when it witnesses war. And saved his life while his house was bombed down.

The War Childhood Museum opened in Sarajevo in January 2017. The Museum‘s collection contains a number of personal belongings like the before mentioned colorful swing, next to many more stories, audio and video testimonies, photographs, letters, drawings and other documents offering valuable insight into the unique experience of growing up in wartime. The idea started with a book: In June 2010, the author of the project Jasminko Halilović (29) launched a call for people who spent a part of their childhood in war to send a short answer to the question ‘What was a war childhood for you?’ In the first three months, over 1,000 people from 35 different countries sent their memories. The idea was to tell the stories of war survivors by creating a mosaic of memories out of these short and unique attachments. The edition of these recollections, initially supposed to last for several months, in the end lasted for about two years. The book which gathered these memories with the title "War Childhood - Sarajevo 1992-1995" was finally published in 2013. During this time, Halilovic kept staying in touch with 1000 of the participants. Inspired by their different stories as well as by their personal belongings shown to him, Halilović elaborated the concept of ‘War Childhood Museum’, which was finally realized four years later.

The crucial part of the War Childhood Museum represents this collection of personal belongings of war survivors. However, these objects do not express much if standing on their own. Their importance lies exactly in the meaning they have for their owner. Therefore, every item that is displayed in the Museum is accompanied by a personal story of its owner, like the little swing which saved a small boy from being hit by a granade.

If you would like to support this greatly humane project, you can support the War Childhood team by visiting the museum, volunteering as a team member, helping them financially by buying the book "War Childhood - Sarajevo 1992-1995" or you may promote it in your circles of preference.
August 23rd, 2017
Spain: Support human rights author Doğan Akhanlı!
type:Authors, Donation, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Cold metal of handcuffs on his wrists, accusing gazes watching every move he does - the Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı knows this situation too well from his former life in Turkey. But this time it is not Turkey, but the Spanish state that makes the author and political activist remember his darkest days in prison in his home country. Living in Germany since the 1990s as an exiled author, Akhanlı went on a regular holiday trip with his family to Granada in Spain. A day after his arrival the Spanish police knocked on his hotel room door, heavily armed and in bullet proof vests- as if he would be a dangerous criminal.

Since 2013 the Turkish government is carrying out an extradition procedure against him. Akhanlı is accused for participating in a robbery in 1989 during his time as a political activist. Eyewitnesses said he was not the culprit. After his trial and acquittal in Turkey, he left his country of origin to live in Germany - a place where he felt safe from the threatening Turkish authorities. After years of living and travelling safely through Europe the international police cooperation INTERPOL finally reacted to his case with new accusations: Terrorism and an attempt to overthrow the government. "I believe the state cannot bear my acquittal," Akhanlı explains. His lawyer suspects that he was spied on by the Spanish authorities - in a time of mass accusations, detainments and trials initiated by the current Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In his novels, essays, interviews and in his projects, Doğan Akhanlı continually argues for the true treatment of historical violence and the indivisibility of human rights - topics of his own life until this very present moment: For 40 days Akhanlı will not be allowed to leave Spain. For 40 days he is required to report to the local authorities once per week. The costs for a Spanish and a German lawyer taking care of his case will ruin him and his family. For this reason, the German center of the international writers association P.E.N. calls for donations to help the author in this difficult situation. The money donated is used exclusively for the costs arising in context of this legal dispute. Should a surplus remain, the amount would benefit the Writers-in-Prison program of the P.E.N. Center Germany, a project committed to persecuted and imprisoned authors and journalists. Donations go to:

PEN-Zentrum Deutschland e.V

„Dogan Akhanli“.

Volksbank Darmstadt-Südhessen eG

IBAN: DE22 5089 000 0058 9207 11

August 16th, 2017
Stop corporate funders of hate groups!
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The big payment processing companies - Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover - are processing funds for some of the vilest white supremacist groups - including the groups behind the racial terrorism in Charlottesville.

White supremacist hubs are able to easily receive funding from their members because these companies are allowing them to. And thanks to transaction fees, these companies are making money every time someone donates to these hate groups.

White supremacist groups like Stormfront have played a major role in the recent and rapid rise in anti-Black, anti-Jewish and anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in the last year and a half. These groups plot to turn their hatred into violence. Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the site was put up in 1995. In the past decade alone, Stormfront members have murdered close to 100 people. Other hate groups, like Label 56, Crew 38, National Alliance and Northwest Front have been responsible for the radicalization of terrorists like the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof or Wade Michael Page.

By profiting from donations to hate groups these companies are directly enabling the rising violence and vitriol directed at marginalized communities. Help stopping corporate funders of hate groups and sign the petition on Color Of Change! Show them which credit card YOU use to make them see just how many of the users are outraged!
August 10th, 2017
Transmodernity - A Film About Changemakers
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

A Serbian drama therapist, a swiss drug expert, an Armenian performace artist and a former monk from India- what do these different people and their professons have in common? They are all changemakers. The three young filmmakers Halea, Luisa and Friedi from Berlin decided to portrait these people who are part of their circle of friends and acquaintances and created this great movie about personalities with inspiring life projects as an inspiration and appeal to take responsibility, dream and act upon it.

The movie's title "Transmodernity" is an umbrella term that addresses a socioeconomic, political and philosophical shift way beyond our globalised hyper-capitalist world. It is an exemplary term that could be used to describe the new age that we are diving into. While being critical of modernity and postmodernity, it takes the best elelments of both – trans-forming our society into something improved. Old systems that over the course of time, proved to not work out need to be reformed from within. The makers of "Transmodernity- In The Blue Hour" suggest to stay playful, have courage and optimism that people can make a difference collectively if they take responsibility as individuals.

If you liked the idea of this film and got inspired, you have the possibility to support Halea, Luisa and Friedi with their project via kickstarter. Only a few hours are left!
July 31st, 2017
ZMAG: A place where nature loves society
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

ZMAG (Zelena Mreža Aktivističkih Grupa, Green network of activist groups) is an NGO founded in 2002 and is engaged in permaculture education, environmental protection and raising awareness on sustainable living. The organization’s members are organic gardeners and food producers, sustainable and natural building practitioners, permaculture designers and teachers, researchers of fair and egalitarian social and organizational models, environmental activists and those interested in sustainable living.

ZMAG is one of the Centers of Knowledge for Social Development in Croatia in the area of sustainable living and development of permaculture. The NGO promotes, develops and practices permaculture, environmental knowledge and skills, applicable models and technology as well as relations that are important for sustainable living. Over the years ZMAG has established itself in the areas of permaculture education, natural building and promotion of renewable energy resources and development of low-tech DIY technologies. ZMAG is working through several projects, on promoting Food Sovereignty, helping startup Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups in Croatia and creating good economic models that support family-owned small eco-famers. Through advocacy and education on seed protection and saving, they are acting on a local level in order to create community resilience.

At the same time, the members of ZMAG are actively involved in several educational programs in schools on subjects from climate change, seed saving, food production and preparation, composting and energy. In addition to advocacy work, policy analyses, networking and campaigns, their members participate in national working groups that create public policies, strategies and plans in areas relevant to our organization. All of the subjects which are addressed –food, economy, energy, political power, ideologies, social values and consumerism – through their practical hands-on approach, are an endeavor of creating a new culture of collaboration and environmental stewardship that is necessary to sustain a livable planet.

ZMAG aspires to a world where an adequate standard of living, social and human rights for all people is met with respect to environment and sustainability. Support them by donating, volunteering and/or spreading their contents through your preferred channels!
July 29th, 2017
Kenya: Lighting a Candle of Hope
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Project
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Lukenya Pillars of Transformation (LPT) is a Kenyan Non-profit, Student led Community Based Organization that seeks to build a people’s capacity for self-reliant skills through projects and initiatives, active participation in training and mentorship programs and thereby improving the standards of life.

The Lukenya Community is one of the major communities surrounding Daystar University Athi River Campus and is located approximately 50 kilometers south of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. It is home to close to 10,000 people. It is a commercial as well as an educational center which is rapidly urbanizing due to a high demand of houses and food products. Being an educational center, Daystar Athi River campus has seen an influx of students from within and outside Kenya coming to pursue their careers and improve their living standards. This has further attracted a large number of people from outside coming to invest in rental houses and in business. The University has offered employment to close to 2,500 people majority being security guards, cooks, drivers and cleaners.

LPT has two mayor projects underway: One sponsorship program with the main aim to boost the less fortunate children at Daystar Mulandi, especially in terms of paying their school fees which is only Ksh 450 to 500 KES (not even 5 USD) for the pre unit children per term. This program will have a tremendous impact not only in the child’s life but also endorse their families' financial stability.The second mayor program is a mentorship program with the goal to connect the youth in the community with individuals who are fully skilled in their area of interest. Currently the mentors are undergoing a two week training before they are connected with their mentees.

Support the students of Lukenya Community in their future-oriented and sustainable project and either donate directly or share and like their contents on your preferred channels!
July 28th, 2017
Track 11: A movie about integration in Germany
type:Crowd Funding, Donation
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

In 1966 Fehmi Gönüleğlendiren, a young man from Adana in Turkey arrived in the German city Mönchengladbach. He was one of the so called guest workers (Gastarbeiter) who came to help building up post-war Germany. He came among throusands of other unprofessional workers from Turkey. They were living in collective accommodations, ten to twelve men sharing a room. Because of the shift work in the factories, there was a permanent coming and going, day and night.

Fehmi Gönüleğlendiren was the grandfather of Çağdaş Eren Yüksel. The young filmmaker never got to know his grandfather, because he died much too early in a car accident. But now, Yüksel - who is known for his film "Asyland" - is retracing his family's roots and thus putting up a historical phenomenon to discussion which is more than ever an up-to-date topic in Germany: "I want to tell the story of the first generation of Turks who came to Germany in the 1960s," he says. "It's our last chance, because these people will leave us soon."

For several months now, he has been talking intensively with first-generation guest workers as with Germans who recall the 1960s and 1970s. The first days in rainy Germany. The first Turkish neighbor. The first German-Turkish love.

Çağdaş Yüksel processes the stories he collected in his film "Gleis 11", meaning "Track 11" which was the arrival track of guest workers at the station in Mönchengladbach. Thanks to the stories told, Yüksel provides the audience with a glimpse of the living conditions and circumstances at that time. "I want to tell the untold stories," he explains.

The team of young filmmakers involved in this project are in need of funding in order to continue their production of this independently produced film which is planned to be released in spring 2018- more than half a century after Yüksel's grandfather arrived on track 11. Feel encouraged to donate on the crowdfunding platform startnext, or like and share this great and necessary project!
HumanitarianBazaar_War Suvivors Advisory
June 30th, 2017
Support civilians before they are hit by mass violence
type:Crowd Funding, Donation, Education, NGO, Project, Volunteering
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

As fighting rages in Aleppo, Mosul, Sana’a, Donetsk, Kunduz, and beyond, and even hospitals and schools have been hit, millions of civilians are trapped in the crossfire. Many families have disabled, elderly, or young dependents who are difficult to evacuate, or cannot afford to flee, so they are at high risk of getting killed or injured.

How does one speed up evacuations? Prepare bomb shelters? Convert items at home to shield family members with a reinforced shielded bed, a combat crib, or a sniper blind? How do you zone living space and courtyards for risk of gunfire or sniper fire? What alternate foods can one eat during shortages in isolation?

There are many medical, humanitarian, and mine action response teams aiming to help them, but the realities of war mean that most of that help comes months or even years after the community has already been destroyed. Therefore, most civilians are left to their own devices in the lead up and first months of violence and isolation. That’s why the non-profit organisation Humanitarian Bazaar decided to create the War Survivors Advisory as a multimedia project harvesting the wisdom of survivors of past wars to create advocacy and training tools to help protect civilians newly at risk. The main goal of the NGO with its vast network of aid workers, war journalists, and refugee advisers, is to provide a more local, organic approach to “pre-combat” civilian protection.

You can support this important project by donating an amount of your choice and like and share the contents of Humanitarian Bazaar. You may also support them by signing up for one of their webinars or workshops or contribute your own knowledge and skills in case you are a war survivor.

Credits: Humanitarian Bazaar

Photo: Daniel J. Gerstle
June 28th, 2017
Turkey: Free Taner Kılıç!
type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Turkish government arrested Taner Kılıç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, for being part of the so called "Gülen movement" which the Turkish authorities blame for last year's attempted coup during which 240 people were killed. Since then, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the arrest of about 50.000 persons and removed about 150.000 persons from public offices.

According to Amnesty International, Kılıç had been taken into custody on June 6th together with 22 other lawyers in the province of Izmir and charged three days later. He is being held in detention pending trial.

"The fact that the Turkish cleansing campaign after the Putsch has also pulled the chairman of Amnesty International in Turkey into their vortex, shows once again how far and arbitrary this campaign has become", declared AI Secretary General Salil Shetty after Kılıç's detention. Currently there is no indication that the arrest is related to his work for Amnesty and does not seem to be a specific action against the organization. It is unclear why Kılıç is suspected of having connections with the Gülen network. According to the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet the attorneys are accused of the use of the messenger app ByLock which is popular among Gülen followers, according to the government.

Shetty: "Taner Kiliç has a long and distinguished record of defending exactly the kind of freedoms that the Turkish authorities are now intent on trampling." Taner Kılıç is a lawyer, political activist and struggled for the rights of refugees during his work as chair of the NGO "Mültecilerle Dayanışma Derneği" (Association for Solidarity with Refugees).

Amnesty International fights for the release of Taner Kılıç. Support their campaign #FreeTaner and sign their letter to the Turkish government demanding to drop the charges against him and release him immediately.