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Update 20th May 2020: We are thrilled to have met the £20,000 target - thank you for all the support so far! We currently have enough money to run our Covid-19 emergency programme for about 3 months. Due to the ongoing situation, we are now planning to extend our support until September 15, which will be six months from the start of lockdown. We don't expect to be able to run a normal session until then (or probably for a long while after) so we are keen to continue to provide social support to isolated people through regular phone calls, zoom sessions etc. Also many people will not have been able to return to work by September, so will still be facing severe (if not greater than ever) financial hardship, and we anticipate state support to start being stripped back. Therefore we know that our members will continue to need emergency food and financial assistance until at least this time. We have therefore decided to again double the target for this crowdfunder. We know many people are in difficult financial situations at this time, but urge those who are financially secure to donate. And please do keep sharing this crowdfunder far and wide - thank you!
Akwaaba is a volunteer-run social centre for migrants. We offer a space for rest, play, learning and mutual support. We believe that no-one is illegal. Our aim is to build community and foster care, cooperation and solidarity.
The centre normally runs on Sunday afternoons in a school in Hackney, where members share food, access resources, socialise, and take part in classes and activities (this includes a children’s space). Between 250-300 people regularly come to Akwaaba.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, we no longer have access to the school, and are unable to run the social centre as usual. We are still providing take-away meals on Sundays at a nearby church, but are unable to provide our usual range of activities and support. This is happening at the same time as many other organisations and services used by our members, such as food banks, advice centres and support groups are having to close their doors. With the government implementing emergency legislation increasing powers of arrest and detention while continuing to enforce a hostile environment for migrants, people with precarious migration status, insecure housing and lack of access to state support are being pushed even further to the margins of society.
We urgently need to raise funds to support those within the Akwaaba community who will be directly impacted by the wider effects of this pandemic, and who will be struggling to meet their basic needs.
The money raised will be used to provide hardship funds for food and other essential living costs, as well as for communications technology, which is especially crucial in the current context. In particular, we want to ensure that those members of Akwaaba who are street homeless have phones, power banks and fast chargers and that all families with children have adequate devices and internet access/data so that the children can access learning resources and connect to their friends throughout the school closure period.
We particularly urge those with larger pockets and secure incomes, who are likely to be saving money (normally spent on travel, going out, etc.) as a result of the pandemic to act in solidarity and give generously!
Update 3 April 2020: Thank you to everyone who has generously donated to this crowdfunder so far! We are thrilled to have raised nearly £10K in ten days. We have prepared an emergency budget to provide regular hardship funds to over 150 families and individuals, as well as monthly phone top-ups to 200 people. We are continuing to conduct needs assessments with our members and have started distributing the funds. We have also been able to provide crisis grants to five people facing destitution or homelessness because of Covid-19. However, given this situation is likely to be ongoing for some time, we still need to raise more money in order to continue to provide ongoing financial support to our members. We have therefore decided to double the target for this crowdfunder. Please do continue to share. Thank you for your support!
Akwaaba is a volunteer-run social centre for migrants. We offer a space for rest, play, learning and mutual support. We believe that no-o...