Bringing untold stories and unbiased facts as tools for change.
It was 2 am when they left their apartment for the last time. They only had one suitcase. They shuffled down the crumbling staircase and joined a crowd to travel across Europe to save their lives. They were leaving Sarajevo to be with their son in the United States. The city was in ruins. They had lost family, friends, neighbors, and dearly loved students: “Every moment somebody dies.” From their building, they went to an armored United Nations vehicle to sneak across the border into Bosnia. From there, they were rushed into a plane and when they emerged everything was different. A new city, a new country, a new language, a new life.
They weren’t alone; they had their son, but things weren’t normal yet. They lived in a row house in Pittsburgh and they counted every penny. They made their own bread because it was cheaper than buying it. They needed medical treatment but couldn't afford it. “It is a very stressful life. I lost my students. They were killed and it was very hard and I thought after that I would never work again.” As they told their students in Sarajevo, “Tomorrow, things will be better.” One day things will be better because they have to be.
Twenty years later, these are memories from another world and time but they speak powerfully to the difficulty of every person who must leave their home because of conflict. It’s stories like these-- of struggle, perseverance, renewal, and hope that compel us to bring the human experience of the refugee crisis to life.
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As a backer, you can be the reason these stories get told. You can be the reason that people like Sayed Ali*-- who saw his family killed for their beliefs, who was forced to flee his home and country to save his life, who needed the strength and perseverance to walk over 4,000 miles, who had only a blow-up raft to cross the Mediterranean Sea, and who slept alone at night in caves-- get to tell the world what life as a refugee is like before and after resettlement. You can be the reason people get to know Ali as a person who always finds hope, who likes to drink tea, who loves animals, and who wants to make the world a better place.
With your support, the first step will be going to Europe to dig deeper to find more stories straight from the source of this worldwide crisis. We need your help to further our platform and extend our reach through improved web development, writers, research, translation, and equipment.
If our Kickstarter is successful, we are going to provide 10 photos of what we're working on that day and daily live footage three times per day from the different areas in Europe in which we will be filming. As a backer, you'll be able to make requests so that you can see exactly what you want to see, from the ground, just like you're there yourself and you will get to watch as stories like Ali's unfold in front of your eyes.
Our Kickstarter goal of $11,462 will cover airfare, lodging, transportation, hard drives, translators, web design, software, and additional equipment. We’ve also budgeted in the costs of the 10% fees for Kickstarter and Amazon. We are a federally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization so your donations are tax free. The more funds we can raise, the more stories we can bring to life.
HumanRefuge(e) is operated by the volunteer efforts of Native American activist and designer Kimberli Milhoan and photographer Adam Michaels. We’re not alone-- currently contributing are local refugee resettlement organizations, social justice and immigration attorneys, tenured professors, bloggers, social justice activists, and refugees living abroad and at home.
HumanRefuge(e) will provide firsthand stories from refugees across the world, information on worldwide conflict organized by country, and resources to connect individuals to ways they can get involved at home and abroad. Our mission is to promote truth over hype, understanding over hate, and action over apathy. HumanRefuge(e) is about cultivating a more cross-cultural, cross-gendered, and cross-religious understanding of the world. Most of all, it’s about exploring the diversity of the human experience.
To maintain accuracy and to bring our viewers the things they want to see, all of our graphics are made by our team. Check out some of our recent work:
As a backer, you’ll be with us throughout both our time in Europe and our work at home as we bring this project to life. You’ll receive exclusive updates from every member of our team.
We want you to know how much your contribution means to everyone involved, so we’ve included some rewards that give you an even deeper connection to HumanRefuge(e):
We need your help to expand our platform and get to the stories that matter most.
To help us accomplish this goal, you can pledge anything from the cost of Sunday brunch all the way up to a $5,000 sponsorship.
So please help us make a difference in this world.
Pledge. Tell your friends. Share this message on Facebook and Instagram. Help make our dreams a reality.
More questions? Leave a comment here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
See the progress at www.humanrefugee.com.
For press information, contact us at email@example.com and visit our press page at www.humanrefugee.com/press.
Video filmed and edited by Adam Michaels and Kimberli Milhoan. A special thank you to Kheir Mugwaneza for allowing us to see and be inspired by the amazing work he does for refugees every day.