Twinned Groups - Who's twinned with whom
Creating a Twinning Group - Practical advice
· How to
Action Palestine - our partner for University twinnings
Twinning with Palestine
The Britain - Palestine Twinning Network - "promoting twinning and friendship links"
Its easy to come back from a visit to Palestine highly motivated, but the issues are complex and the need for action can be daunting. Just where do you start and how do you use what resources you have properly?
It is important not to forget the people we have met and whose expectations may have been raised by our visits.
Being active is important in maintaining public interest.
A good example of how a twinning group can help a Palestinian partner with campagning. www.camdenabudis.net/urgentactioncampaignshalabiyeh.html
1 Hold a monthly meeting. A public meeting is an important way of maintaining momentum and bringing in new helpers, who might not otherwise want to be involved in anything too political.
2 Fund raising. Hold a Palestinian themed dinner party. Run a breakfast in the park event. Raising money for something to benefit the people of the town you are twinned with provides a useful focus to your campaign. Look at the Sheffield link on the right for some useful information on what to raise money for (Twinning visit reports / Info.; Sheffield - Gaza)
3 Friendship statements. Encourage people (including MP's and local councillors) to sign your friendship statement.
4 Leaflets. Always have a leaflet available to hand out to interested parties promoting your group, its objectives and ways of contacting you. If you have a web site, save them as a pdf file and put them on your website so that people can print them off.
5 Organise a group to visit Palestine. Visits are an excellent way of getting people involved and motivated.
6 Photo exhibitions. Your local library may well be interested in hosting a display, as will local churches and mosques.
7 Create a web site. This is a good way of promoting your campaign. Remember to include information on your town as well. If you need advice on buying a name and reasonable hosting packages please contact us.
8 Build links groups.
- Community. Use your members who are active in their local Church or Mosque to build interest.
- Education. Aim to get your local teachers unions involved, with the aim of either bringing people over here to share their experiences or sending volunteers out there, both to learn about the Palestinian community you are twinned with and to help (teach English for example).
- Health. Professional organisations are often full of motivated people who share our concerns. They may well be able to investigate and report back on conditions in your twinned community.
- Human Rights. People concerned with the plight of the Palestinians are probably involved in other campaigns. Joint actions can be arranged to highlight an injustice occurring in your twinned community.
- Students. Local colleges are not only interested in hosting meetings, but can be a source of motivated volunteers.
- Trade Unions. Many are already affiliated to similar campaigns. Try and get them involved or to affiliate. Affiliated organisations are more likely to respond to an appeal for funds (to bring children over for example).
- Women. Women in particular suffer under occupation and curfew. Local groups may well be interested to hear more.
- Youth. Football is of international interest, so why not try and arrange a sporting fixture between youth in Palestine and your community?
9 Petition - Having a petition against the wall for example is another useful way of getting peoples interest.
Write and ask if a delegation can visit your MP and MEP's to explain what the group is about. Try and get a letter of support. Ask them to sign your friendship statement (3).
DO not hesitate to get involved at Election time. Organise a hustings at a General Election. At local elections send a questionnaire to all candidates asking if they will support an official (formal) twinning. Publish the results.
11 Art exhibitions. Libraries may be less inclined to turn you down if you organise an exhibition of childrens art for example. Many of the pictures speak volumes - helicopters, tanks, dead people. This approach should not be underestimated. Local artists may well appreciate an opportunity to exhibit here, and local people will find the pictures interesting.
12 Quilt making. A good way to get people involved. Sewn or embroidered patches from people in the U.K. and Palestine could produce a spectacular quilt. Raffle the end result. This sort of activity usually makes the press easily.
13 Penpal networks. A useful way of involving school children as well as providing an opportunity for Palestinian children to practise their English.
14 Sell locally produced olive oil, crafts and embroidery (cushion covers seem to sell well).
15 Stalls - look for opportunities to promote your campaign. Local newspapers are a great source of information. A local Church may run a Tradecraft fair for example, and may welcome friendship campaigns along.
16 Flags. Most people now recognise the Palestinian flag. Make sure you have a few for your stalls and public meetings.
What do the colours of the Palestinian flag represent? Green is for the land of Palestine, White is for the peace in which the Palestinian people lived before they were made refugees, Red is for their blood spilled trying to liberate their land, and Black is for their life under occupation.
17 Ribbons / Bracelets. Encourage people to show their support.
18 Make an appeal to your members as well as through the local press for old cameras, computers etc. that the local school in your twinned community could use. Giving a digital camera to your twinned community ensures you get regular photos of the wall and its progress for example.
19 Target Seasonal events - Easter, Christmas and festivities at the end of Ramadan offer an opportunity to have a stall promoting your campaign and selling items from the communities you are twinned with. Embroidery (cushions especially) sell well as does Olive oil. Alternatively have a Xmas stall in your local shopping mall, selling Palestinians crafts, calendars and oil. A useful way of raising funds and supporting your twinned community. Useful links
20 Christmas cards - Many Palestinian Solidarity campaigns sell Xmas cards. Offer them for sale in your pre Xmas newsletter.
21 Race night - we have not been to one of these but understand they are a useful way of raising money. Remember though, that many religions do not sanction gambling.
22 Buy or appeal for digital cameras. Your twinned community can then take pictures showing the progress of the wall for example, or to help show what daily life is like.
23 Reach out to as many people as possible. Generally e-mail lists are very unreliable and should be seen as only one of the ways of publicising your event. Print flyers and posters to promote your event and send out private invitations as well.
24 Speak to your friends about your work supporting Palestinians.
25 Wear a badge.
26 Organised a joint sponsored walk. The Exeter Hebron Group did this (suggested leaflet - word doc).
27 Organise a joint kite flying festival. Camden Abu Dis did this recently. Such event make for good publicity and are more likely to be reported on by local newspapers
28 Twin a local school with one in your twinned Palestinian community. Get the children to send each other pictures and drawing, and us ethem to create a wall of understanding.
29 Any other suggestions? If you have raised funds successfully please let us know what you did and how you went about it.
www.palestinefreedom.org - Worth a look at for some good ideas.
www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/howtocampaign.htm - Getting your campaign going.
www.schnews.org.uk/diyguide/idiotsguidetomeetings.htm - Idiots guide to meetings.
www.campaignstrategy.org/bookindex.html - How to Campaign.
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