Saturday 16th June 2012, our event, Building Hope, proved to be a great opportunity to meet our supporters, old and new- including members of the public in the Brick Lane area, to what was to be an intimate gathering to champion human rights and the issues behind our work.
The evening started with the screening of our documentaries on our Bangladesh Street Children project and Ala Kachuu project in Kyrgyzstan. This allowed for more in depth discussion to why there is a need to voice such issues, like the abuses marginalised children face on the streets in Bangladesh and the severe detriment to women’s human rights in Kyrgyzstan. Several members of the audience were visibly moved during our film 'Building Hope', particularly by the graphic scenes of drug taking and of 13 year old 'Ameena' chained up and prostituted by her ‘mother’. As part of the Ala Kachuu project and following a recent trip to Kyrgyzstan, our film 'Right to Choose' and also television advertisement to be aired on Kyrgyz national tv 'Demand Change, Say No' were shown. Though the scenes of kidnapping were quite shocking, audience members found hope in the women's right, despite community pressure to say 'no to ala kachuu'!
Following the screenings, the floor was opened to questions and members of the audience probed the Directors Mabrur and Rahima on a wide range of issues, including government involvement, project staffing and costings, sustainability and challenges. Given the difficulties that NGOs face, dealing with funds in Bangladesh, the audience were particularly pleased to know that one hundred per cent of all donations go straight to the project. One supporter was more inclined to support based on the long term goals of Restless Being project work; ''I appreciate that your projects are more than just fundraising, they're about changing ideas and providing consistent and permanent change, I suppose that's why building hope is so important''.
With recent events in Burma, Restless Beings used this opportunity to raise awareness of the stateless and persecuted Rohingya community, facing oppression at the hands of the state of Burma. The complex issues surrounding the Rohingyas evokes strong passions amongst many and it is at such times that their voices need to be heard, and their plight acknowledged by the international community. Many guests were surprised at the extent of the brutality that the Rohingyas face- one likening it to the film District 9- certainly being labelled by the UN to be the most persecuted community in the world puts it into perspective somewhat. Be it on facebook or twitter we urge you to spread the plight of the Rohingyas and to condemn the atrocities.
The evening concluded with dinner and a chance for supporters to network with members of Restless Beings and many took this opportunity to get involved and donate to the projects. Over £500 was raised through donations and standing orders.
Building Hope continues with YOUR support!
Stay Restless & Voice the Voiceless
*Love, Light & Lollipops*