ilikum.org is a cultural effort of T.R. Nimen, and it is not a nonprofit organization, nor does it accept donations. However, in researching content for ilikum, I have discovered many excellent arts and social support organizations that perform amazing work throughout the world. Here are a some of them, and I urge you to lend your support if you can. Many thanks.
Reza Visual Academy holds photography training and workshops for refugee children. Through photography, young people document their lives in exile, and by doing so, cope better with their challenging circumstances while also permitting us to better understand and react to their plight.
The White Helmets is an unarmed Syrian civilian rescue organization made up of volunteers who enter Syria’s most dangerous places to save human life after bombs have fallen. If you have Netflix, see the documentary about them — it’s a jaw-dropper.
The Freedom Theatre operates in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank of Palestine. The organization provides instruction on creative writing, performance, film making, directing, costume design, production design, voice, dance, movement, acting, and stage managing. It helps Palestinians give voice to conflict and confrontation with unequal power and authority.
Gul Bahao Trust is making enormous strides in Pakistan’s sustainability movement. Led by Nargis Latif, the organization employs students to conduct research, develop products from waste, and pushes sustainability policy in Pakistan sharing its knowledge base worldwide.
The Castle Art Project sponsored by the Rise Foundation operates out of a former Saddam Hussein prison-information camp that now houses Syrian and other refugees. The art created by the refugees serves to add elements of beauty to the camp and provides refugees creative outlet as a means to cope with loss of home and homeland.
UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency supports those seeking asylum in other states. In addition, it provides support to nations hosting refugees and seeks to help nations losing populations to conflict. It provides healthcare, clean water, sanitation, transportation, and income-generating programs to answer the challenges faced by those fleeing conflict and of the countries absorbing and hosting refugees. Additionally, the UN Refugee Agency advocates international policy to address conflict and political issues that creates untenable living conditions within a country.
Musicians Without Borders uses music as a bridge to healing, communication, and recovery from war and conflict. It utilizes local musicians and performance resources to engage people in projects that invoke positive transformation. Because music is universal, it crosses boundaries of religion, culture, and nationalities, and it serves as a unifying action for those who’ve suffered trauma.
Al Hoash: The Palestinian Art Court is a Jerusalem based arts organization offering education-art programs to the Jerusalem community and featuring new and established artists.
The Peace Factory uses social media as a way of circumventing adversarial relations between groups who are known to be at odds. Knowing that connecting people one-to-one usually disables issues that often lead to conflict, the Peace Factory connects Israelis to Iranians and Palestinians to Israelis to name a few connections. They also have created an online culture discussion board, ASK ME, to inspire dialogue through cultural exchange.
Heartbeat.fm is an education organization in Jerusalem and Haifa that engages Israeli and Palestinian high school musicians to create and perform music, and by doing so it aims to disable mechanisms of segregation. By promoting equality between students and in the music developmental process, Heartbeat defies the dynamics of sectarianism from where the music is made.