On March 22, 2014, at the age of 69, we lost our friend and colleague, and an unrelenting crusader for social justice and human rights, Sithie Tiruchelvam.
We wanted to share with you a moving tribute to Sithie from the website of the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust (which Sithie founded in memory of her husband, Neelan Tiruchelvam). The tribute is a compilation of testimonies and stories of Sithie, shared by her friends and colleagues from around the world. They all speak of the magnanimity of her spirit and love for those around her.
Click here to watch the film.
By Avila Kilmurray
By Celia McKeon, Assistant Trust Secretary, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
We all know that it’s not money that builds peace, but people. The complicated process of moving from violent conflict to what might conceivably become sustainable peace only happens if people take risks to enable that transition. It is the actions of people at all levels of society that make the difference, often over many years, and with many set-backs and false dawns along the way.
What does this mean for the role of philanthropy in contested societies? This was the topic I was asked to speak on at a workshop at the recent European Foundations Centre conference in Sarajevo. There are many possible approaches, but as the grants officer for the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust’s (JRCT) programme in Northern Ireland, I focused on identifying lessons from the Trust’s experience of funding there for the last four decades.
By Hania Aswad
This quote by Suzanne Siskel, also a member of the PSJ&P working group, sums it all for me;
“… I don’t think you can talk about social change or social justice – if that includes affecting changes in behavior, belief and attitude – without considering the cultural dimensions of the ways in which people experience and filter the world. And artistic expression - voices, rhythms and visions – are tangible and visceral ways in which resistance to new influences may be mediated and change and adaptation can be shaped.” Suzanne Siskel, Asia Foundation (San Francisco, US)
Heading the Naseej Foundation which aims at achieving justice for communities and supporting a good number of ‘Arts & Culture’ programs and artists amongst many others from various sectors, I often find myself having to defend the direct relevance between our mission and the Arts.
I’m a critic of “poverty porn,” the selling of poverty to increase donations. It dehumanizes “beneficiaries” (a word that itself is dehumanizing), but even worse, it’s a slippery slope. Engaging donors on the basis of crisis means you always need a new crisis to keep them engaged; successful philanthropy becomes dependent on having a steady stream of victims.