Play is Hope

£3,646 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 21 months
We are a grassroots, autonomous collective. We came into being in response to the movement of children, young people and their families from Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war torn and impoverished countries. They have fled to Europe. seeking the chance to build a better life or sometimes to simply live.

Since the borders between the European countries have closed tens of thousands of people who hoped to travel on to northern Europe remained in camps, centers and potentially dangerous hot spots in Balkans. Starting from Greece and collaborating with our refugee co-organizers, who gradually got relocated across Europe, we are developing Play is Hope as an international organization that connects people and communities across borders ( 

Who is Play is Hope and What We Do?

Play is Hope is a coming-into-being organization that creates opportunities for people to play, develop and lead.  We are a multidisciplinary, international team of refugees, migrants and locals using performance and conversation to help people to lead their lives and create something new together. We bring performance off the stage, into the communities and camps to create environments for new kinds of conversations. Working across Europe full time for the past year as volunteers we hope with your support to sustain and expand our activity and develop our organization.

Why Play?

Through play and performance, even in the midst of deprivation and crisis, people can break out of predetermined roles, create new ways of relating to each other, and try out new ways of being—in short, they can, together, create new possibilities. During the last year and as our co-organizers were moving from place to place we created our lives anew together, treating the difficult circumstances and the violations of human rights as opportunities to grow and generate collective power.

We created multicultural performance events in the communities, organized panels in conferences and took online courses together. We played in camps and communities across Europe.

We offered consultations to other grassroots organizations and we launched Dialogues Across Borders , a series of interactive exhibitions that is now spreading across Europe and was hosted by Tate Exchange in March 2017.  We bring together grassroots organizers and co-create stages of development with and for them to impact their local communities and the world. 

Why Independent Fundraising?

National governments and international agencies have failed to deal with the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II.  That’s why we need private citizens like you to step up and support this innovative, creative, grassroots project working in camps and communities throughout the world.  When our governments fail us, we ordinary people can create alternatives. We need your help to do this. 

Your money will support Play is Hope , its administrative costs and its grassroots collaborations with organizers around the world. It will go to producing play and performance workshops in the refugee camps, funding participation in conferences, educational opportunities and international gatherings around the world, developing collaborations and grassroots initiatives of communities across Europe, funding the interactive exhibitions and offering payment for the organizers (refugees and locals) who are leading our projects.

1/10 of the money raised in this campaign will be donated to Pikpa open refugee camp and Mosaik centre in Lesvos.

Write to us if you want to collaborate with us or to connect with local organizers. Join us as a participant and as a leader.

Play is Hope is inspired by the performance-based approach to development and learning of the East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy and All Stars Project, Inc . It is growing with the support of an international network of local organizers connected with the Performing the World community.

Play is Hope in partnership with East Side Institute and the Performing the World community, initiated on the 4th of March 2017 Creating Community Across Borders , a series of synchronised performance events that brought together online 200 people across 12 countries.  

Inspired by this activity our co-organizers who are now relocated in Europe suggested to come back in Greece and help the people who are still waiting in the camps and asked if our international friends can help us do differently than our governments decide.

We are building with our co-organizers a series of events with play, movement, myth  in communities across Europe.  

In November  2017 we are organizing in Thessaloniki in collaboration with local universities an international conference with artists, academics, therapists from around the world. 40 leaders will gather from more than 15 countries to connect and organize together a bigger international conference in 2018. We will provide scholarships to our refugee co-organizers to come back to the city we met and discover together how we can continue organising environments for the world to grow, heal and develop. 

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£3,646 of £10,000 goal

Raised by 37 people in 21 months
Created March 4, 2017
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Mikael Shields
19 months ago

With Love and support. M.

S. Paola Lopez R.
19 months ago

Raised with the love and support of our border community in El Paso, Texas (USA). Special thanks to the Layali Al-Sham Arabic Music Ensemble, the Arab Student Association at the University of Texas at El Paso and the community coalition Boundless Across Borders.

Andres Marquez-Lara
20 months ago

From Andres, Fabi and Santi to support your amazing and powerful work with the children and families being displaced due to war.

hildert van den bogaert
20 months ago

Not so important, but I do prefer PayPal...

Makiko KISHI
20 months ago

My love, Elena!! I really appreciate for your big big big and warm hearted contribution for Syrian people. How lucky and happy to meet you in Greece!!! I thanks God to let me meet you and work with you! And thank you very much for sharing your lovely people in Lesvos. I love people there, Yulie, and all people you introduced me got special to me. Thank you very much and longing to see you before long!! Sincerely yours Mako with lots of love and hugs

Helen Abel
20 months ago

I think the name of Elena's organization Play Is Hope, says it all. She with 100's of others all over the world are bringing play into the refugee camps to work with youth and young adults to give them performance, art, music,story telling and more to feed their souls and give them hope in very difficult situations. I am proud to be donating to this!

Russell Hamilton
20 months ago

I'm not interested in diagnosing the problems of the world anymore. For far too long I would complain about hate, corruption, violence and poverty, then pat myself on the back for being right. There is no comfort for me in being 'right' anymore. Today, I want very much to invest in possible solutions for the emerging world - and Play is Hope feels like a powerful and unique opportunity to do just that. How will we connect? How will we create sustainable enterprise? How will we honor everyone's autonomy and our collective communities at the same time? I don't know the answers to these questions - but I have found a hopeful trail - and following it feels like PLAY!

21 months ago
Joan Fleischman
21 months ago

I'm grateful for the opportunity to help through your work. Joan

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