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About hope

Hope has been on my mind a lot recently. As an organiser for migrant rights for over a decade, I’ve seen the highs of passionate belief in change and the lows of burnout and resignation - of feeling like nothing will ever change and everything getting worse.  Across Europe, from Berlin to Calais and all the way to Scotland I’ve watched many, including myself, cycle through passion and exhaustion.

In 2020, I began organising towards Community Sponsorship—a decision driven by a desire for tangible, positive change. After years of engaging in large-scale systemic struggles that often felt endless, this step brought soothing and healing. Welcoming two families and co-organising a group of volunteers has been a practice of sustained hope and solidarity.

The Power of Community

The Community Sponsorship initiative exemplifies the transformative power of local, grassroots efforts. By bringing together volunteers, families, friends and neighbours, we've created a microcosm of solidarity where each individual’s well-being and liberation are interconnected. This community is a powerful reminder that, even amidst systemic challenges, tangible change is possible when people unite with a shared purpose as well as respect for each other's humanity.

Solidarity and Shared Liberation

Solidarity, to me, means recognising that our well-being and liberation are intrinsically linked with others’. As Lilly Watson famously said, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” This perspective shifts the focus from a hierarchical model of "helping" to a collaborative model of "working together," providing a powerful antidote to burnout and rooting the struggle in mutual empowerment and shared destiny.

Hope as a Sustained Practice

Hope is not a static emotion but a sustained practice, cultivated through daily acts of kindness, support, and collaboration within our community. This hope is resilient because it is grounded in real, lived experiences of positive change, no matter how small they may seem in the broader context of global issues.

Challenges and Resilience

Decades of austerity in the UK have left many communities disenfranchised, with growing financial and housing insecurity as well as an epidemic of mental ill health and of loneliness. These harsh realities add depth to our hope, as we confront them with a steadfast belief in the possibility of small acts for change. Acknowledging these systemic challenges, along with global issues like restrictive border systems and divisive narratives, highlights the importance of incremental progress and sustained effort.

The Role of Dreaming and Imagination

In times of despair and numbness caused by witnessing global violence and oppression, dreaming becomes a radical act of resistance. Dreaming opens up space for possibility and change, enabling us to envision a better future and work towards it, despite immediate challenges. 

Small acts of kindness, solidarity, and community-building can serve as powerful demonstrations of an alternative route. These acts can accumulate and inspire broader systemic change by showing what's possible. When we lead by example, these small, everyday actions can inform and influence larger societal shifts, providing a blueprint for a more just and compassionate world. This imaginative capacity is crucial for maintaining hope and momentum in long-term struggles.

Celebrating Humanity and Success

Celebrating humanity in its most beautiful form—people coming together, recognizing each other’s humanity, and sharing unique gifts—serves as a powerful counter-narrative to the dehumanizing forces at play in the world. Equally important is celebrating our successes and small wins along the way. Recognizing how far we have come, no matter the scale, reinforces our collective strength and resilience. It is in these moments of shared humanity and acknowledged achievements that hope is most vividly felt and sustained.

Our journey is a powerful reminder that hope is not a passive state but an active, collective endeavour. It is cultivated through community, sustained through solidarity, and fueled by the dream of a more just and compassionate world. Despite the challenges, our experience stands as a testament to the fact that hope, indeed, is possible and transformative.

Thank you for reading and for being part of this vibrant, ever-evolving community of hope.

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