In May 2015, Basmeh and Zeitooneh launched its ShatilAlive crowdfunding campaign to support its primary community center in Shatila refugee camp. During the weeks that led up to the campaign, the Shatila community center faced financial shortfalls as a result of a global decline in funding for initiatives supporting Syrian refugee communities, particularly in the area in and around Beirut. These funding reductions put the continued implementation of five programs in Shatila at risk, namely the Vocational Training Institute, the Protection department, the Arts and Cultural Center, the Peace Education program, and the Small Grants program.
In order to sustain these crucial developmental programs, Basmeh and Zeitooneh formed a fundraising team from within its own staff, and began a crowdfunding campaign to raise $120,000 over a period of six weeks. This amount would be used to support the five at-risk programs for a period of one year. The campaign focused not only on the unique situation facing Shatila refugee camp and its community, but also the unique approach of Basmeh and Zeitooneh to service provision within this context. The team used the crowdfunding platform Zoomaal to receive donations, and reached out to its network of friends and supporters using a number of media and social media outlets. Basmeh and Zeitooneh created and published four short films during the campaign, capturing the day-to-day life in Shatila, the community center’s projects in action, and the two of the participants’ success stories from within the center. The team also organized an inaugural fundraising event, inviting friends, supporters and donors to be introduced to the campaign and hear about how the funds would be used. The ShatilAlive campaign managed to raise a fantastic total of $145,000 over an extended timeframe of two months, with Zoomal listing it as one of the most successful campaigns on their platform.
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