Friday, 11 September 2015
Australia: ANU students launch 'Stand With Kobani' reconstruction fundraising campaign
Students of the Australian National University have recently launched a charity campaign to raise awareness for the current situation in Rojava, located in Northern Syria. The campaign, “Stand With Kobani” aims to raise money and assist in the reconstruction of the Kurdish city of Kobani.
Kobani made headlines earlier this year as it was the first Kurdish city to successfully break the Islamic State's siege and a successful counter-attack resulted in the expulsion of IS militant from the Kobani canton. Despite the success of Kurdish freedom fighters, over 200,000 refugees fled from Kobani.
Most of these refugees took refuge inside of Turkey. However, Turkey's largest refugee camp only has the capacity to shelter 35,000 refugees, leaving the remaining 165,000 refugees to fight for accommodation in smaller camps or struggle to survival without international and governmental sponsorship. Within the camps, refugees are provided with the basics necessary to survive, but lack the luxuries that we take for granted. Those not provided placement in camps are largely prohibited from many basic rights, namely those associated with their cultural identification and political expression. Further, there have been many claims of victimisation at the hands of the Turkish majority, with claims of discrimination and bullying because of the refugees’ Kurdish origin. Kobani refugees greatly desire the freedom to return to their homeland, however it is estimated that 70% of their city remains completely destroyed.
As of May 2015, Turkey has kept their border closed and restricted aid workers from entering the Kobani canton. Currently, the most active aid organisation operating inside Kobani is the Kobani Reconstruction Board (KRB). However, because of its feared association with the Socialist and Communist parties of Rojava, the aid and assistance on behalf of Western nations to this organisation is almost non-existent. The ANU Middle Eastern Society aims to break this trend by selling bracelets and raising donations, with proceeds going directly to the KRB.
A single donation of $10.99 will contribute to the financing of necessary equipment to remove the rubble and destruction that currently dominates the city of Kobani. Refugees cannot return home, until the war-torn streets are cleared, houses rebuilt and infrastructure is restored. Kobani has received an outpouring of assistance from locals and foreigners who have emigrated to the Canton to assist in its reconstruction. However, it remains greatly burdened by its lack of financial capacity. The workers and citizens of Kobani are asking for your assistance to rebuild their homeland.
The ANU Middle Eastern Society have established contacts with locals and workers inside Kobani, including foreign fighter, Jesper Söder. All contributors will receive a free “Stand With Kurdistan – I Rebuilt Kobani” bracelet and thank you letter from the citizens of Kobani. We greatly urge you to show solidarity with the Rojava Socialist Internationalism and contribute today. If you cannot provide financial assistance, the children of Kobani are very interested in exploring the world around them, please contact the ANU AMES society to learn how you can become a pen-pal with those wishing to learn English.
We call upon our fellow Australians and supporters of Kurdish autonomy to show solidarity with the Democratic Confederalism project that is currently ongoing within Rojava. Please consider donating to the Kurdish cause and help establish the free and autonomous region of Rojava. The citizens of Kobani sincerely appreciate your support. Please visit our facebook page and website to learn how you can contribute today. Biji Kurdistan.
President of the Australian National University Middle East Society (ANU AMES)