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#GiveItUp4Peace Fundraiser & PeaceGeeks 5 Year Anniversary!

Guest Speaker:
Nov 3, 2016
The Hive Vancouver

Join us as we wrap up our month-long #GiveItUp4Peace campaign and celebrate our success! Together we'll share our stories from the month over beer and appys.

Celebrate our annual #GiveItUp4Peace Campaign and help PeaceGeeks with our final push to raise $50,000 so we can help those displaced by conflict to improve their own lives through better access to critical services.

Did we mention there will be Dagaraad Brewing beer and some tasty food from The Pint & Smart Mouth Cafe?!

Featuring a photobooth generously donated by our friends at imageCube

Silent auction items include: 

1. Harbour Air package for a flight for 2 anywhere out of Vancouver
2. Whistler package with 2 nights at a hotel in Whistler and a $50 gift card from The Keg
3. Pamper package with hair salon, manicure/ pedicure & necklace
4. Health Package that includes 1 month at Revamped Fitness and 2 tickets to the Gluten Free Expo
5. Gastown Package including gift certificate to Nuba and 2 tickets to an Escape Room
6. Sports package with Whitecaps Tickets & video games
7. Geeks Package with Hive Hot Desking and Camp Tech
8. Pubs package, with gifts from The Pint, Storm Crow and Original Joes
9. Living History Package, which includes a coffee conversation with a newly arrived Syrian refugee couple in Vancouver

Keep an eye out on facebook and twitter for more information about the event!

Tickets Available by Donation to PeaceGeeks, minimum donation of $10

Please note donations over $20 are eligible for a tax receipt.

Event Video:
Thank You To:
Nov 3, 2016
Category: Fundraising
Time 2:
6 PM

On Sacrifice

48 days ago, PeaceGeeks launched its inaugural ‪#‎GiveItUp4Peace‬ campaign. The idea was to give up something that you can't live without for the campaign in solidarity with those who have been forced to give up everything due to conflict and disaster.

When I decided to give up sugar, I most definitely had not thought through how many things I was going to end up giving up in practice. Among other things, that has included sugar in coffee, cookies, pastries, cake, my favorite soup, my favorite chili, most curries, cough drops, any drink at the theatre (apart from water), most juices, ginger beer, and energy bars / drinks when going on long bike rides, to name a few. And yet, as the clock wound down on our campaign, I was starkly reminded how very flimsy my 'sacrifice' has been.

I was supposed to spend most of the final day writing emails to our donors and motivating our community to donate, but it proved to be an exceptionally difficult task to do on that particular day. Starting in the morning, I began corresponding with one of our Burundian partners, a friend who has been sending me photos and videos of what is happening in her country as we speak. She herself became a refugee this past summer along with her Executive Director, for their organization's work calling on the President Nkurunziza to honour the country's two-term constitutional limits and step down.

For those who do not know, he refused to honour his country's constitution and "won" a third term in July. The election was both preceded and followed by a significant rise in politically motivated violence, including by Nkurunziza's youth wing, the Imbonakure. Since then, the leaders of all of the organizations that were involved in protesting against the government and advocating for democrary have been targeted by various forms of political violence. Many have become refugees, along with more than 200,000 other Burundians who have fled to neighbouring Rwanda and Tanzania. In the last three weeks, our partner's non-profit organization has been shut down, along with many others. Their leaders have been charged with various trumped up violations. Their organizational and personal assets have been seized by the government. Their families have become refugees in other countries, unable to see one another and with no idea when they will see them again. Their colleagues who remained behind in Burundi are now under threat and there are increasing random and targeted attacks every day.

It now seems clear that the country has begun the slide back to civil war. Burundi's last civil war lasted 12 years, from 1993 to 2005, and claimed the lives of some 300,000 Burundians.

I know there is nothing I can do to stop what is happening in Burundi, and I know that we did all we could reasonably do under the circumstances to document political violence and amplify these issues to policy makers. But I felt compelled to ask her if there was anything I could do for her. She replied 'Be courageous.'

I am not sure what that means in this context, especially having some sense for what being courageous has meant for her. But I guess it means to keep going. To continue documenting atrocities that are taking place. To remind our policy makers that their job is not done and that their 'declarations' and 'grave concerns' and in most cases, inaction, are witness to bringing Burundi back to the brink of war. To do what we can so that when we say "never again" that these are not just empty words. To honor the civil society leaders who risk life and limb to bring peace and justice to their countries. And to not lose hope. Because at the end of this campaign today, I will still be safe and sound in Vancouver. And all I will have given up is sugar.

I owe it to all our partners to not give up on anything else.

- Written by Renee Black, Executive Director of PeaceGeeks

Dec 20, 2015

10 hours left to #GiveItUp4Peace!

Six weeks ago, we launched our inaugural #GiveItUp4Peace campaign. Thanks to our incredible community, we have raised over $38,000. We now have less than 8 hours to go to reach $40,000! If you have not donated yet, remember that your donation will be matched till midnight tonight and is eligible for a charitable tax receipt!

Don’t miss this last chance to help make this our most successful campaign yet! 

Today, more than 60 million people are displaced by conflict and disaster, the largest number since World War II. Syria’s Civil War alone has claimed an estimated 240,000 lives and displaced 11.5 million people from their homes. Burundi's conflict has displaced another 230,000. As Canadians, we are increasingly engaging in these important international issues, as we prepare to welcome 25,000 Syrians to new homes and communities in our country in the coming months. 

This past year, we have worked to help civil society organizations in South Sudan, including our partner, Community Empowerment for Progress Organizations, to successfully lobby the United Nations and international donors to pressure the government of South Sudan to return to peace talks and begin the process of restoring stability in the world's newest country. 

We have begun working with Libyan organizations, like our partner Libyan Youth Movement, to amplify the voice of youth as the country begins the slow and hopeful transition towards a peaceful, accountable and prosperous future.

We have supported the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan in helping refugees get better access to information on services available to them through our Services Advisor app, and we are now in talks with UNHCR in Iraq, Turkey and Greece about installing Services Advisor in those locations. We are also designing new app features to help refugees provide feedback on how the UN can better support their needs. 

In the coming year, PeaceGeeks will continue to support those affected by conflict in three main ways 

  1. Continuing to help those displaced by conflict to get access to the services provided by humanitarian organizations operating in host communities.
  2. Exploring how technology can play a role in helping refugees to resettle into their new homes and communities here in Canada.
  3. By contining our work with grassroots peacebuilders and civil society leaders to strengthen peace, accountability and human rights, we will work toward preventing conflict and displacement from occurring in the first place. 

Many challenges remain. In Burundi, our partner Fontaine-Isoko, as well as other civil society leaders, journalists and opposition parties are being violently targeted for attempting to hold the President accountable for violating the country's constitutional two-term limit. As I write, there is a very real risk that Burundi is sliding back towards civil war 9 years after the signing of the peace agreement.

It is in times like these, more than ever, that we must not only support civil society leaders working at home to affect change, but also find our voice to ensure that our country and the institutions that represent us in the world do more to prevent conflicts from escalating into armed violence. We must be courageous so that our partners can continue to do their work. And we need to act as global citizens to address the complex challenges that lie ahead. 

Thank you again for making it possible for PeaceGeeks to support our community of changemakers and peacebuilders in 2016!

Dec 14, 2015

Random Hacks of Kindness November Edition

Guest Speaker:
Nov 28, 2015
10:00 AM Midnight, 10:00AM 6:00PM
HiVE Vancouver

Are you ready to #RHoK4Peace? Then join PeaceGeeks at the HiVE on November 28 & 29th for 24 hours of #Hacking4Humanity!

Are you a developer, designer, or UX pro? 
Are you a social media guru, media relations manager or communications specialist? 
Are you passionate about using technology for social change? 

Featured projects include:
- Expanding the capabilities of Services Advisor, our refugee services app in use by the UNHCR Jordan;
- Strategy development for a campaign to counter ISIL's social media recruitment;
- Building a secure electronic registrar of human rights violations in Kenya with the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders;
- Continuing development of a SMS-based system to document sexual and gender-based violence in South Sudan;
...with more to come!

Bring your enthusiasm for peacebuilding and put your skills to use to help us help communities around the world build better, safer lives! #Tech4Good

Nov 4, 2015
Category: Hackathons
Time 2:
10 AM to 6 PM

#GiveItUp4Peace Fundraiser at The Portside Pub

Guest Speaker:
Nov 19, 2015
6:00 11:00pm
The Portside Pub

For the month of November, we're daring Vancouverites to give up some part of their daily lives to help us raise money to help support refugees, through initiatives like our Services Advisor app.

To celebrate your efforts, we're thrilled to bring you the #GiveItUp4Peace mid-campaign fundraising event!

FABULOUS silent auction!

Exciting LIVE Entertainment from The Werewolves!

AMAZING photobooth by ImageCube!

TASTY treats & LUSCIOUS libations for your enjoyment!

We look forward to seeing you there!

For more information on how you can get involved in our campaign please visit our website.


Event Video:
Oct 29, 2015
Category: Fundraising
Time 2:
6 PM
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