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nettime-nl: let the sunflower blossom again (part 2) !!!
wam kat on Tue, 6 Apr 1999 19:50:24 +0200 (CEST)

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nettime-nl: let the sunflower blossom again (part 2) !!!


Part 2

Dear Friends,


Sorry again for those who expected already yesterday (sunday) a private answer but on needed a small break. Yestersay I joined a Easter marche here in Germany. And above all my postbox broke yesterday due to all the emails which I recieved, since Friday already over 300 emails came back within 48 hours, I am not able at the time to read them all, but as far as I was able I noticed that all of them were positiv and supporting me to continue this initiative. Therefor I decided the take some time today (monday) and try to write a more constructive mail to all of you. For those we are still wondering who this strange wam is, behind this messages I will included a few internet links in this message, where you be able to find background information about who I am and what I have done. Furthermore I will include in this message a small qoute from a speech held by the USA Vice-President Al Gore a few years ago proofing the importance of the internet and what kind of humanitarian initi!
atives can be established by this medium.

Back to bussniss.....


As soon as the direct crisis in Macedonia and Albania is settled down a bit, we will start to organise small international teams of volunteers, up to 20 persons, who will go down to the area and life for at least 3 weeks together with the refugees in the hopefull by that time more and better established refugee camps in the area. At this moment in time, when the situation is as chaotic as it is, it makes only sence to go there if you are able to install the first important basics which enable the refugees to stay alive. Unstructured and organised international volunteers in the middle of this mass wouldn't help much. Schelter, food, water and medicines are now the most important things which have to be organised. And following the news I have the feeling that the international big aid is getting on its way.

In the weeks the situation will calm down a bit, the first panic like now will be in a big under controll (I hope). At this moment that all over the region more or less better settled refugee camps will be there. I must admit that I believe that even when the war in Kosovo will be over in the next weeks, I believe on basis from the news that the refugees are able to return to their houses in Kosovo. If what we hear is true lot's of town and villages are destroyed and first of all have to be rebuilded before people are able at all to return. All this time they will be waiting in their centers in Macedonia and Albania, mostly months or even years, rather than weeks, but let us hope for the best.

The experiences from "SunCokret" (Sunflower) in Croatia and Bosnia and "My Neighbour" in Serbia in 1992 and following has shown how important it will be that refugees at this moment wouldn't be left alone. Food and shelter are one thing, the things in the mind are another almost as important part of humanitarian aid. Bringing a bit of normality into this situation, bringing normal people from all over the world, helps a lot in breaking the spiral of thinking in fair, war and so on all the time. It helps indeed a bit against the traumas which are build up in this time of waiting.


Very simple, people will be going in small group into the refugee centers as said for at least three weeks. During this time they organise or help to organise first of all creative activities for the children there. This can be a bit range of things, SunCokret started with organising sport, children plays, music, theater until schools and selforganised youth centers. Secondly activities for women, also this can range from creative workshop, talkingsgroups, courses until produktive units. And last but least activity for men, else than just meeting places where they just talk about the missery in thier country. Also here you may think in the direction of courses, when the war is over their homes and towns have to be rebuilded and new infra and economic structures have to be rebuilded. 


International volunteers in a refugee centers is one thing, but it has as we experienced some beautifull offsprings. All most volunteer, when he or she returned home became a local, regional or national contactperson for direct grassroot help towards the centers. In may occassions in Croatia and Bosnia have shown how important this direct contact were and how they could organised what big organisations weren't able to.

Furtheron it help people all over the world to overcome their situation of pasiveness, their frustrations about what is going on. Each of us are able to help, at this moment the refugees in Albanian and Macedonia are the worst victims of war, what ever you may think and who is responsible for it. We should combine or power and so what a united nations from below is able to get on its way.

Each of you is able to help, supporting this action or any other actions which help this victims. Nobody is helped by trying to ban this situation out of your mind. It is there and almost all of us are direct and indirect involved in it.


OK I have taken the initiative, but I am sure that all of you are able to understand that I am just a private person and for sure not able to organise this all by myself. I am even not sure if I should be the person to organise this. But from all the positive reactions I have noticed that it can and should be done. At this moment it is important to establish some where on the internet a coordination point, a point were we have good and fast internet entrance, from where we can inform all people around the net about this initaive. A bankaccount (please not mine) to collect support for the first, and later costs of this initiative. And a fast as possible contacts in Albaninan and Macedonia, up to now I haven't established that, sorry. 

Every idea how this all can be done in the next days are welcome. This may should a bit naiv, but it is the reality, I am sorry. But I am sure that we are able to do it. By the way when any of you have be hearing from simular initiatives please spread the news, as said it is important to combine or cooperate as much as possible.

Ofcourse I hope that other big humanitarian organisations like the UNHCR or ICRC and others will suppport an action like this, like happened with SunCokret 7 years ago, after they organised the first activities in different refugee center. But I am sure it will happen Mrs. Agata head from the UNHCR already mentioned today (Monday) that the international communittee should not only think about food and shelters, but als about activities for the children and alter refugees.


You may be not agree with me, but I believe that situations like this is asking for international, rather than national initiatives. In a war, were natiolism was driven again to it ubsurdity are asking from and trans national answer. The international cooperation and a real international presents in the refugee centers will show that people from all over the world can work together. When we are able to establish a kind of self organised united nations of below we can again put a milestone in the internet, that we can be able to work together, rather than fight over the net (the amount of war propaganda and news on the wwww and flame wars in discussion groups is increased in the last 4 years). Lets do something more constructive.


Like my diary about 7 years ago was, without my knowledge, spreaded around the world, also my first message from Saterday has been spread around the world, lot's of people has send it to there friends and I am glad that this happened and ask you again to mail, if you like it, this appeal to your friends and those who think maybe can help to realise this initiative. Rather this personal initiativ and contacts are the main powers behind an action like this. 


As said I don't where I have heard this idea first, but I am glad that it went to the net so quickly. I'm happy to tell you that in the main time a petation towards Nelson Mandela started on the internet, which you can read and sign: http://members.oal.com/gomandela/tothe/balkans.htm.


My deep respect are going to the people and the political leaders of Macedonia and Albania, it is unbelieveble what such a refugees explosion means for those two after all poorest countries of Europe.



            Global Communications Interactive '97
            Vice President Al Gore
            on the Global Information Infrastructure
            Remarks by Vice President Al Gore to the
            International Telecommunications Union Development
            Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina 21 March 1994
            I have come here, 8000 kilometres from my home, to ask you to help 
            create a Global Information Infrastructure. To explain why, I want 
            to begin by reading you something that I first read in high school, 
            30 years ago. 
        .... -at the end of his speech...

            ....Global Network.

            It has brought us images of earthquakes in California, of Boris 
            Yeltsin on a tank in Red Square, of the effects of mortar shells in 
            Sarajevo and Somalia, of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It has brought 
            us images of war and peace, and tragedy and joy, in which we all can 
            There's a Dutch relief worker, Wam Kat, who has been broadcasting an 
            electronic diary from Zagreb for more than a year and a half on the 
            Internet, sharing his observations of life in Croatia. 
            After reading Kat's Croatian diary, people around the world began to 
            send money for relief efforts. The result: 25 houses have been 
            rebuilt in a town destroyed by war. 
            Governments didn't do this. People did. But such events are the hope 
            of the future. 
            When I began proposing the GII in the U.S., I said that my hope is 
            that the United States, born in revolution, can lead the way to this 
            new, peaceful revolution. However, I believe we will reach our goal 
            faster and with greater certainty if we walk down that path 
            together. As Antonio Machado, Spanish poet, once said, 
                "Pathwalker, there is no path, we create the path as we walk."
            Let us build a global community in which the people of neighbouring 
            countries view each other not as potential enemies, but as potential 
            partners, as members of the same family in the vast, increasingly 
            interconnected human family. 
            Let us seize this moment. Let us work to link the people of the 
            world. Let us create this new path as we walk it together.
            Al Gore was inaugurated as the 45th Vice President of the United 
            States on 20 January 1993. In this role he is actively involved in a 
            wide range of Clinton administration initiatives as well as advising 
            the President on foreign policy. Recognised as a leading 
            environmental voice in Congress, Gore led the U.S. Senate's 
            delegation to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. 
            It was the world's largest ever gathering of heads of state to focus 
            on the environment. He is also a nationally recognised leader on 
            Gore's Congressional career began in 1976 when he was elected to the 
            U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 
            1984 and re-elected in 1990. A candidate for the Democratic 
            nomination for president in 1988, Gore won more than three million 
            votes and Democratic contests in seven states.
            | Introduction | Development | Technology | Geographical |
            | Global Communications Home Page |
             Hanson Cooke Ltd,
            Jordan House, 47 Brunswick Place,
            London N1 6EB
            Tel: +44 (0) 171 750 5000 | Fax: +44 (00) 171 750 5010





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