The Solidarity Economy Association (SEA), an Oxford-based multi-stakeholder co-op looking to build the ‘solidarity economy’, is seeking to raise minimum of £18,000 to maintain its work through 2023.
“We currently have a shortfall for the first part of 2023 and we need your help to continue developing our current interwoven strands of work,” said the co-op in its crowdfunding bid.
The funding will be used towards the salaries of its three part-time staff (based in England, Wales and Scotland) to enable the co-op to keep running and delivering a range of projects.
SEA’s work includes developing workshops, building and maintaining digital tools and education websites, working with local and national solidarity economy groups, and providing practical international solidarity and fundraising.
In addition to its UK work, since 2016 SEA has been running Co-operation in Mesopotamia, a project building awareness and solidarity with co-ops in North and East Syria (Rojava). Initiatives includes workshops across the UK, organising the first known ‘co-op bloc’ on a demonstration in support of Rojava, and co-ordinating and supporting a range of solidarity initiatives.
Since 2020, the co-op has raised over £150,000 to support water projects in North and East Syria, where five million people are facing water scarcity, through its Water for Rojava campaign.
In 2021 SEA teamed up with Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (MORE), the Class Work Project and Decolonising Economics to launch the Solidarity Economy Organisers Network (SE-ON), which aims to build capacity in and coordination between grassroots groups that support and are led by marginalised people.
Another area of work for the co-op is knowledge sharing. SEA is hosting a series of online Conversations with Gamechangers, featuring organisations working in the solidarity economy across six continents, with multilingual translation and interpretation to internationalise and share the knowledge and experience.
“No amount is too small, and we’re offering rewards for donations, starting from the price of a pint,” SEA said in its bid.
Those who donate to SEA’s crowdfunding campaign will receive gifts from the co-op, including posters printed by Calverts workers’ co-op, sustainable material T-shirts, stickers, tote bags from Unicorn co-op, hand-embroidered Zapatista blouse from Chiapas, handcrafts from women’s co-ops in Rojava, and a Stir to Action magazine and New Internationalist magazine bundle. The co-op welcomes donations from around the world but can only ship gifts to the UK.
SEA will receive all pledges made by 15 December 2022.