Help us donate to a charity working for peace in the middle east
April 3, 2016 3:51 AM   Subscribe

My grandmother wants to donate some money to a charity working for peace in the middle east. She doesn't want to support an organisation working for or motivated by religion. She wants to donate in UK pounds. Does anyone have any ideas? I have suggested Medecins Sans Frontieres, but she would prefer something focused more on peace. Thanks!
posted by einekleine to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Children of Peace is a UK non-religious charity supporting community groups working with young people.

From their site: "Children of Peace is a non-partisan children’s charity dedicated to building trust, friendship and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4 – 17, and their communities. Our aim is to develop a shared spirit via arts, education, health and sports programmes; so future generations might live and work peacefully side-by-side."
posted by billiebee at 4:28 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ultimate Peace gets kids from different backgrounds (e.g. Jewish Israelis and Arab Israelis) together to play ultimate frisbee (a sport based on respect and sportsmanship).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:15 AM on April 3, 2016

seconding Ultimate Peace. I have several friends and acquaintances who have volunteered with them and have had nothing but great things to say about it.
posted by Old Kentucky Shark at 6:44 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seeds of Peace does many things, their camp brings kids across conflict lines together to teach respect and understanding.

I donated to them a while ago as part of an inheritance. About a year later, I ended up working with someone who had gone through the program. It turns out that our heritages put us on opposite sides of the I/P conflict. He said, waxing poetic about the program, "I'm not sure I could have talked to you, much less worked with you, before going to camp".

I don't know about specific donation options, their "Donate" page is a standard credit card interface with US dollar symbols, but maybe you could write to them.
posted by Gorgik at 6:45 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Rotary International Foundation Peace Centers. There's one or two on the UK and they train and educate people to work for peace on areas of conflict, including the Middle East.
posted by rw at 7:22 AM on April 3, 2016

An offbeat choice, but: Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra brings together young musicians from Israel, the Palestinian Territories and other Arabic countries, and they play concerts in all of those places. From the linked page:
In 2005, the West-Eastern Divan performed in Ramallah, marking the orchestra’s first event in the Occupied Territories. For many Palestinians in the audience, this was the first time they encountered Israelis in a non-military setting. One young girl remarked to Daniel Barenboim, “You are the first thing I’ve seen from Israel that is not a soldier or a tank.”

Because of the Lebanon War in 2006 some musicians could not attend the orchestra’s rehearsals. Those who did hotly debated and discussed what was happening. Emotions ran high, and the orchestra’s very existence and continuity seemed at stake. While there was ultimately no agreement on any one position, there was meaningful exchange and mutual respect. For individuals who were positioned as enemies, this was an extraordinary achievement.

When open war broke out again in Gaza in 2009, Barenboim began the Divan’s performances by reading a shared statement of the orchestra which said: “We aspire to total freedom and equality between Israelis and Palestinians, and it is on this basis that we come together today to play music.”
I have immense respect for Barenboim, an Argentine-Israeli who has also, on principle, taken Palestinian citizenship. He has dedicated a a lot of his life to working for peace. There's a donation link on the web page.
posted by Pallas Athena at 7:24 AM on April 3, 2016 [4 favorites]

Consider donating to UNRWA, who is still recovering from and carrying many of the costs of the reconstruction of Gaza after the disastrous 2014 attacks.

In its Orwellian nature it is perhaps comedic that the misnamed project 'ultimate peace' be mentioned here as a serious suggestion when one explicitly asked for secular organizations; the misnomer 'ultimate peace' (of course mentioned along with "Jewish Israelis" and "Arab Israelis"—notice anyone missing?) is not only a tiny organization, it is hardly facilitating peace other than a whitewashing and normalizing of the conflict on the ground.

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is also a fantastic group, mentioned above.

Disclaimer: I work in the ME. Having spent extensive time in Ramallah, one becomes accustomed to the burgeoning peace industry in Palestine and Israel, full of suspect "charities".
posted by standardasparagus at 9:59 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

I also came to recommend Seeds of Peace. I have a friend who worked with Seeds of Peace for many year and would tell us stories about the kids who he worked with. If they do indeed accept donations in pounds, I'd suggest them strongly.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:03 AM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

And they do have a UK-based page on Virgin MoneyGiving.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:04 AM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks all, I've gone for the most widespread, geographically, as that is what she wants. Appreciated.
posted by einekleine at 12:19 AM on April 6, 2016

Your grandmother sounds like a great person! It's great of you to do research for her, too.
posted by rw at 12:51 PM on April 14, 2016

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