ReFOCUS: Refugee Media Labs

$730 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 8 months


Tens of thousands of teenage and young adult refugees continue to flee their countries due to conflict, war, persecution or extreme poverty.

After spending long years on their way to a safe place, they lose crucial years of education lingering in refugee camps while they wait for their asylum applications to be processed. 

If granted asylum, this loss of education and marketable skills compromises their dreams and aspirations as they are forced to work low-paying jobs to support their families.

ReFOCUS, a collaboration between Rough Cut Media and 1976km, aims to change this by providing refugees with modern communication skills through photography, audio and video production, graphic design, media editing and computer classes. 

While many see these programs as Arts education, and therefore extracurricular, we see them as valuable and marketable skills any member of modern society can and should master. 

Our experience in the field shows that teenagers and young adults are in a desperate situation, and ReFOCUS courses help refugees develop marketable skills, control the way their story is told, instill the confidence needed to build better futures and avoid the trap of unstable employment.


For these reasons, we fundraise to bring computers and media creation tools and teachers into camps and community centers to train refugees. Please note that ALL equipment secured through this fundraising will be donated to our field partners to maintain ReFOCUS Media Labs open to the community.


Several refugees with media creation skills that have secured their asylum are giving back. They, along with young filmmakers trained in Rough Cut programs in Philadelphia, will put their skills to the ultimate use by serving as Teacher-Artists and lead the workshops current refugees so desperately need. 

A major goal of our training is to help refugees learn these skills by producing original content and then hosting this work in exhibitions open to the public. In addition, we're building a support network of artists and teachers to help promote their work wherever they secure their asylum.

The first ReFOCUS Media Lab is being established inside the One Happy Family Refugee Community Center on Lesvos, Greece because the island continues to host over 8,000 refugees and more arrive every day. This community center was built with and for refugees, and we cannot wait to return to help it continue to thrive. 

We’re coming back to this island where in 2017 we taught photography and started 1976km - a refugee storytelling project and crisis information platform. Our programming will commence in the first week of August 2018, so we need your immediate help in financing this critical endeavor.

While financing is needed to purchase computers, cameras and other media creation tools, please get in touch if you're interested in volunteering as a Teaching-Artist or have any media gear that can be utilized in our programming. 


Please consider donating to ReFOCUS because this is about real lives in need of real skills that can help actualize real futures. 

Rough Cut Productions, a project of the The Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia has 501(c)3 status as a registered charity,  and all donations from US-based taxpayers are tax-deductible.  

For more information and regular updates on our programming please visit us on social media- @roughcutmedia @1976km  @OHFLesvos and on our site- www.1976km.com

+ Read More
Deep thanks go out to our first round of supporters who have generously helped get this campaign off the ground. We're really excited to get back over to Lesvos, Greece and kick off the 2nd year of our programming.

@Rough Cut Media and @1976km are both 100% volunteer organizations, so ReFOCUS is only possible because of generous donations from individuals like yourself.

Please consider donating to put modern creation tools in the hands of refugees who are being robbed of their education as they wait for their asylum applications to be processed.

Your donation can provide critical support and education in marketable fields to ensure that refugees who are stuck on Lesvos ( in many cases for over 2 years) have a fighting chance at real careers wherever they end up.

We also have several Rough Cut filmmakers and refugees who have secured their asylum returning to teach their passions, but we're always looking for more to join us. The more the merrier, so get in touch if you have a passion and are willing to come over to teach it!

Together we can truly change lives,
Sonia & Doug
+ Read More

$730 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 17 people in 8 months
Funds raised will benefit:
CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia
Certified Charity
+ Learn More
Philadelphia, PA
EIN: 463109411
How it Works
  1. You make a donation using a PayPal account or a credit/debit card to PayPal Giving Fund (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization).
  2. After the deduction of payment processing fees, PayPal Giving Fund delivers the funds it receives to the chosen charity on a monthly basis.*
* If, after reasonable efforts, PayPal Giving Fund cannot deliver donations to this charity, the funds may be donated to another charity per PayPal Giving Fund’s policies.
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Andrew Johnson
6 months ago
35mmFilmIs Awesome
7 months ago
Luis Gascon
7 months ago
Simone Wagner
8 months ago
Dylan Long
8 months ago
8 months ago
8 months ago
8 months ago
8 months ago
8 months ago
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.