This October, PeaceGeeks marks seven years in ‘business’ along with our third annual #GiveItUp4Peace challenge.
Every day, refugees around the world are forced to give up everything they’ve known in face of conflict and displacement. PeaceGeeks’ projects aim to equip refugees, newcomers and communities at risk with the resources to restore and promote peace.
In solidarity with those forced to give up everything, PeaceGeeks invites you to give up one thing for the entire October — e.g. coffee, hot showers, driving. Share your story on social media and help us raise money through pledges towards PeaceGeeks’ ongoing projects!
How has #GiveItUp4Peace impacted our work?
This fundraising campaign has been absolutely essential in making PeaceGeeks’ work possible.
In 2016, participants gave up things like coffee, driving, and alcohol, and raised more than $30,000, which enabled us to launch one of our major projects, the Service Advisor web app for United Nations Refugee Agency, connecting refugees in Jordan and Turkey to the humanitarian services they need most.
This year, our goal is to raise a total of $45,000 to support our critical programs helping communities at risk to use tech for peace: the Pathways app that helps newcomers settle in Canada, and Meshkat Community which empowers the next generation of digital peacebuilders in Jordan to combat violence and polarization online.
By signing up at giveitup4peace.org, you’ll join amazing individuals and companies like Unbounce, Axiom Zen and Flipboard who are engaging their teams to #GiveItUp4Peace.
If you’re still not sure why you should participate, here are 5 reasons to join this year’s #GiveItUp4Peace campaign:
1. You’ll be helping refugees and immigrants settle in Canada
The money we raise through #GiveItUp4Peace will heavily impact the pilot development phase of our Pathways app project.
With Canada committing to welcome 1 million newcomers by 2020, PeaceGeeks launched the Pathways app project to help refugees and immigrants navigate everything they need to do for settling and thriving in Canada.
Designed alongside refugees, immigrants, and all the major settlement organizations and community service providers in Metro Vancouver (such as MOSAIC, ISSofBC, SUCCESS), the app connects newcomers with a timely and personalized action plan of community resources and settlement services, tailored to their needs, circumstances and stages of settlement. The app will be piloted in Metro Vancouver in spring 2019 and will directly impact 153,000 new immigrants who currently live in the region.
Your participation in #GiveItUp4Peace will help us expand the app to be used in other places in BC, as well as across Canada. We are also planning upgrades and new features, including a mentorship module that matches newcomers to local career mentors online, as well as ways to gather service feedback to strengthen settlement service delivery. Join #GiveItUp4Peace to be a part of the exciting development of this powerful digital tool for newcomers!
2. You’ll be empowering young changemakers in under-resourced communities in Jordan to combat violence and polarization online
Another major project supported by #GiveItUp4Peace funds is our Meshkat Community program in Jordan. This community-focused program builds the digital skills and networks of individuals working to promote peaceful dialogue and cohesion in the Middle East.
Meshkat Community (مجتمع مِشكاة) was launched by PeaceGeeks in Jordan in 2017, and runs workshops, incubation programs, collaborative networks and a digital hub for youth and members of at-risk and under-resourced communities. Through these, participants are engaged to identify local risk factors of violence and polarization, and learn to use the power of locally-relevant content — blogs, audio, videos, visual art, social media — to strengthen peace and tolerance online.
With the money we raise together, we can multiply our impact by expanding to new communities in Jordan and to other countries in the Middle East. Want to expand the reach of an impactful education program that leverages digital tools across the Middle East? Join #GiveitUp4Peace.
3. You’ll be ensuring our local programs like PeaceTalks and Hackathons are continually accessible to all
PeaceTalks and Hackathons are two programs based in Vancouver that aim to inspire individuals to drive social change and contemplate the role of technology in peace. Both programs to date have been free to participate, thanks to support from our fundraising campaign and sponsors.
PeaceTalks is our signature speaker series that sparks open discussion on timely and critical issues at the intersection of peace, human rights and technology. Look out for our upcoming PeaceTalks in the next coming months on topics including: independent journalism and the upcoming elections in the DRC, blockchain in humanitarian contexts, and more.
In partnership with community organizations and other nonprofits, we also host hackathons around once per year, including "idea hackathons" using design thinking for human-centred design as well as traditional code sprints. We’ve tackled issues including local immigrant settlement, crisis response and secure documentation of human rights violations.
We hope you’ll help us continue bringing people together in tech for peace, by supporting our #GiveItUp4Peace campaign.
4. It’s a great way to encourage team building, show that your company values helping communities promote peace, and see your impact firsthand.
We also encourage you to participate in the #GiveItUp4Peace campaign with your colleagues as a corporate team. Why?
#GiveItUp4Peace is a great way to encourage team building and gives you the opportunity to do something interesting together with your coworkers for a good cause. Come out with your colleagues on October 1, the first day of the campaign, for the #GiveitUp4Peace launch party. Enjoy Syrian cuisine, beer from Dageraad, live music from Ugandan community activist hip-hop group Free Nation and former refugee John Michael Koffi, raffle prizes and more!
#GiveItUp4Peace is also a great way to show that your company values social responsibility and helping communities promote peace. A designated PeaceGeeks ambassador will be available to help you coordinate employee engagement and marketing opportunities. For instance, PeaceGeeks can host a Lunch and Learn session at your office on the projects you’re supporting, with the possibility to Skype into our projects to see your impact in real-time.
Here's how your funds can sponsor young changemakers in under-resourced communities in Jordan to use tech for peace, through Meshkat Community:
- $250: Gives 25 hours of training for one at-risk youth to learn digital skills for peacebuilding
- $500: Gives month-long leadership training for one at-risk youth through the Digital Peace Youth Network
- $1,250: Equips and trains one community organization to run local community resilience projects
- $4,000: Hosts a multi-day workshop for 25 youth on digital skills training and peace promotion
- $7,500: Sets up a Digital Peace Creators Lab in under-resourced communities, so youth can regularly access media equipment, meet mentors and incubate projects.
5. You'll be part of our changemaking community
The impact of #GiveItUp4Peace doesn’t just end on October 31. It’s a continuous journey to empower more communities in the pursuit of peace. There are many opportunities to stay involved: from participating in our PeaceTalks series, to coming out to our hackathons, to joining other social events, or volunteering with PeaceGeeks.
Now that you know all about our 2018 #GiveUp4Peace October campaign, what is your next step?
Sign up to participate or donate to the cause at giveitup4peace.org.
And come out to the Launch Party on Oct. 1, 6-9PM at the HiVE — everyone is welcome so invite your friends!
So, what will you give up?