CARAVANA FUNDING CHALLENGE 2015
LET’S DOUBLE OUR MONEY!
Dear Caravana supporters
So far this year Caravana fundraising events have raised an amazing £3,000 towards our work. But to keep us going we need a last push at the end of the year.
With your help, we are hoping to double this amount by the end of December, so that we can fund essential costs for our Colombian partners in 2016.
The Caravana isn’t an expensive charity to run – we have donated office space, a part-time coordinator, and many members who donate their time and expertise to support our work. But, we do need some essential funds.
Your donation will support provide vital funds to support our Colombian partners so we can organise our next delegation and continue our work.
Any amount you can spare is really appreciated!
Please remember to add gift aid so your donation goes even further!
Thanks very much for all your support,
Joanne, Charlotte and all of the Colombian Caravana
If you are wondering what your donation might make possible, here are just some of the amazing things that the Colombian Caravana has done this year. With your support we can continue.
We co-hosted the visit to the UK by at-risk human rights lawyer Jorge Molano, during which he spoke with MPs, the UK Foreign Office, the legal community and the public, about justice and impunity in Colombia. His visit included a high-profile event in the Law Society, at which he spoke with Nepalese human rights lawyer Mandira Sharma, about the challenges for justice in Colombia and Nepal
We coordinated the submission of an international amicus curaie brief to support a challenge in Colombia’s Constitutional Court, together with ABColombia, Colombian Coordination Groups and Garden Court Chambers. The amicus brief advocates for the full protection of victims’ rights in Colombia, via the dual application of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in cases of violations by military personnel.
The Caravana is supporting the Oil Justice Tour with trade unionist Gilberto Torres, organised by War on Want and Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors in a number of UK cities. The tour is specifically looking at the situation of violence in Casanare, an area where large-scale oil projects are being implemented, many of which by British companies. Several of the companies behind these large-scale development projects are implicated in human rights violations.
We launched our 2014 delegation report at the Frontline Club with the support of celebrated Guardian journalist Ed Vulliamy, raising awareness on the situation for human rights lawyers and other defenders, and calling for change. Since then we have used the report in follow up lobbying with decision-makers and the legal community. The report has also been launched in Spain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada.
So far this year, the Colombian Caravana has written advocacy letters on 15 different cases of attacks and threats against Colombian human rights lawyers. The most recent case in September and October 2015 involved surveillance and intimidation against human rights lawyer Yessica Hoyos and her assistant, both from the internationally-renowned José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR).
We can’t do it without your help.
THANKS VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
If you would like to donate to us another way, or if you require further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps you would like to raise some funds for us?!
In the past, people have got together and organised fundraising events such as:
- Sponsored Salsa-thon
- Sponsored bike ride
- 3 Peak Challenge
- Sponsored run around La Sagrada Familia
- Sponsored walks
…all to raise money to support the vital work of Colombia Caravana!!
You could even open your own fundraising page linked to our BT My Donate page, and ask your firm, colleagues, friends and family to sponsor you!!
Katie’s Fundraising for Inter Church Commission of Justice and Peace
Katie, one of our 2014 Caravana delegation members, and has recently been involved in raising funds for human rights NGO Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (Inter Church Commission of Justice and Peace – CIJP). Here is an article that she has written about why she decided to organise a bake sale at her Church in London.
I was a member of the 2014 Colombia Caravana delegation to Colombia and was extremely fortunate to meet several representatives of the human rights NGO Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (CIJP). Earlier on I had met with the indigenous communities umbrella organisation ONIC and been shocked by accounts of the displacement of communities from their lands. For these communities, their identity is indelibly linked to their land and therefore this displacement represents a very real threat to their ultimate existence.
I found meeting with CIJP a particularly moving and also inspiring experience. Their work is focused on providing legal representation and accompaniment services to victims of forced displacement, notably indigenous communities, campesinos and Afro-Colombian communities. The NGO is an inter-church NGO, comprising members from Catholic, Presbyterian and humanist backgrounds. When the representatives were asked what form of assistance would be most useful to CIJP in the long-term, they explained that raising awareness amongst the international community was very important but also that financial assistance of any kind would be very much appreciated.
The obstacles an NGO like this faces are enormous owing to the sheer volume of cases, but also the constant threats that their members face in conducting their work, ranging from malicious attempts to discredit their work as ‘guerrilla lawyers’ to assassination attempts and other violent attacks. The representatives found making a request for financial support very difficult and were visibly embarrassed, but I promised myself that on my return to London I would make an effort to raise funds for this NGO. Because the NGO has a Christian foundation and I am Catholic, I decided to do a fundraiser at my Church.
On 1 March 2015, I held a fundraising cake sale at my church, St Mary’s in Hampstead. Thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of St Mary’s, the event raised £250, all of which was sent to the Inter Church Commission of Justice and Peace.