“Sumud for Freedom – Art against occupation”

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Since the 1967 war the West Bank is occupied by Israel. On June 5th 2017 the occupation reached the number of 50 years. For that occasion AEI organized an Art and Music Festival in Bethlehem to commemorate all victims and give Palestinians an opportunity to protest against the occupation in a peaceful and creative way.

 

In order to raise funding for this event, AEI suggested to launch crowd-funding actions in the Netherlands and Germany. Johanna, a German volunteer who stayed at AEI until the beginning of December 2016, and myself, also a German volunteer until September 2017, took responsibility for the crowd-funding in the German-speaking regions. 

 

From mid-December until the end of January was the time span for our crowd-funding. We decided to do it on Startnext, which is a large German crowd-funding platform especially designed for creative and sustainable project ideas. A special feature of it are rewards. If you give a certain amount, you will get back something that bears a connection to the project. As crowd-funder you have to mention how much you need so as to be able to implement your project. If you do not reach this amount within a certain period chosen in advance, you will not receive anything – all will go back to the donators. So there is quite some pressure to reach your target. We said we wanted to raise 7000€ from December until January, about one month.

 

Johanna and I prepared the Startnext-Crowdfunding page together. We made a video about the project, wrote a text and made photos for the page and the rewards. Before the actual funding stage started, Johanna left back to Germany, but helped me as far as she was able.

It was the first time that AEI tried to crowd-fund that way in Germany. When the funding started I had a lot to do, especially sending out mails asking people to spread the link of the page. But with much help from Pax Christi sections in Germany, we succeeded to spread the page. We came very close to reach our funding goal before the deadline, but in the end we needed a little help from the Friends of Young Bethlehem, the Dutch crowd funding partner, to encourage more people to give at the end and reach the targeted amount. After the deadline we even collected more and finally reached 8000€. I am very happy how it worked out and proud that we got so much support and could also spread the word about the work of AEI.


Hopefully, other projects in the future will be funded similarly successfully.

 

Ida

May 2017

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