Play is Hope

£3,201 of £50k goal

Raised by 34 people in 1 month
Elena Dina Boukouvala  Wormley & Turnford Ward, ENG
We are a grassroots, autonomous organization. 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 is hosted by Tate Exchange this Spring.  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 more than 150 people across 13 countries.  

In April 2017 two young people from Syria chose to take their lives in camps in Athens and Chios.  Our co-organizers who are now relocated in Europe suggested to come back to the camps in Greece and help the people who are still waiting and asked if our international friends can help us do differently than our governments decide.

In October 2017 we are organizing in Thessaloniki 'Human to Human', an international performance organizing event with leaders from around the world: refugees, migrants, locals - humans to get together and play, perform, organise environments to grow together and develop. 

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£3,201 of £50k goal

Raised by 34 people in 1 month
Created March 4, 2017
Andres Marquez-Lara
12 days 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
13 days ago

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

Makiko KISHI
18 days 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
27 days 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
28 days 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!

Joan Fleischman
1 month ago

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

Valerie Nishi
1 month ago

It takes a virtual village! Let's be the future we long for.

Armando Justo
1 month ago

Thank you Elena for your making our world a better place for all!

Gwen Lowenheim
1 month ago

This made on behalf of Rosa Bazyluk

Joyce Dattner
1 month ago

The March 4 event was a beautiful demonstration of creating community across borders. Brava!

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