Water for Rojava

Water for Rojava


raised of £100,000 target
29% 15 days left

Help us raise £100,000 to support women's co-operatives and vital water projects in North-East Syria. Water is not a weapon, water is life!

This project is match-funded £1 for every £1 donated up to £50k - We only need to raise £50,000 to reach the £100k target!

If you have a problem donating with a credit or debit card you can also donate via Paypal.

Water is not a weapon, water is life!

In the region of North-East Syria, also known by its Kurdish name Rojava, a democratic self-administration system has been built up since 2012 – a system based on grass roots democracy, ecology and women‘s freedom, in which all the different ethnic and religious communities can live together on their own terms, through autonomy, self-determination, and equality.

The system is based on neighbourhood assemblies and councils, with principles of ecology and gender liberation at its heart, and values of ethnic and religious pluralism throughout. Women are at the front and centre of this movement.

But now, Rojava faces some big threats: War, embargo, water shortage

When the revolution in Rojava began, the groundwater level was very low due mainly to industrial monoculture agriculture organised by the Syrian regime over the last four decades, as well as a decline in rainfall as a result of the global climate crisis.

In 2015, Turkey started to use water as a weapon against Rojava by holding back the water on the rivers which flow from Turkey to Syria through the dams it has been building over the last twenty years.

Then, in October 2019, Turkish state forces invaded some areas of North-East Syria, including the region of Serekaniye, which supplies water to almost half a million people in the region around Hasakah. The Alouk water station in Serekaniye was targeted on the first day of the invasion. Since then it has been fixed and then put out of service again repeatedly.

Since the start of the invasion of Serekaniye, Turkish military forces and their allies have continued to attack water infrastructure, burned newly planted orchards and dammed the rivers providing most of the fresh water and electricity to Syria. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently without safe reliable drinking water.

This situation is greatly exacerbated by the threat of Covid-19. In the time of a pandemic, access to water is more vital than ever.

“In the midst of a global pandemic that is overloading sophisticated governance and infrastructure systems, Turkish authorities have been cutting off the water supply to regions most under strain in Syria,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The Turkish authorities should do everything they can to immediately resume supply to these communities.”

Now, the people in Rojava need your help. We want to raise £100,000 for vital water infrastructure in North-East Syria.

A small private foundation in the UK that has previously supported projects in the region has agreed to a match-funding offer to kick-start the project. It will donate £1 for every £1 of the first £50k raised. This means we only need to raise £50,000 to reach the £100k target!

The fund will help women’s co-operatives and democratic local municipalities in Rojava with projects like repairing infrastructure damaged by bombings, digging wells and building water pumps for refugee camps, as well as funding long-term projects like co-operative farm irrigation systems and river cleaning initiatives.
Despite the ongoing war, people in Rojava are still living cooperatively, rebuilding their lives, their ecology and their economy.

You can help support these efforts. Please let other people know about this campaign and donate what you can. 

Water is not a weapon. Av jîyan e – Water is life!

Who are we?

The Solidarity Economy Association are working together with Aborîya Jin (Women’s Economy) in North-East Syria, not-for-profit NGO Un Ponte Per (Italy), UK-registered charity Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê (Kurdish Red Crescent), Roots for Change (Switzerland), and the Save the Tigris Campaign.

The Solidarity Economy Association (SEA) have been partnering with primarily autonomous women’s economic structures in the region for some time. When Turkey began its new invasion of NES on 9 October, a renewable energy engineer was in the region working with SEA and Aborîya Jin to identify projects relating to renewable energy. A common thread running through nearly all the projects identified was water. Where energy was needed, it was often in order to reach water in the wells since the water table is dropping, to make new wells for new community projects, or to irrigate land, in addition to smaller amounts of electricity for households.

Aborîya Jin (AJ, Women’s Economy) are a democratic autonomous economic body that is part of the women’s movement in NES. Active right across the region and made up entirely of women, their role is to strengthen the role of women in society by building up the women’s economy, empowering women to become self-reliant, and developing confidence and collective autonomy. They are the main women’s co-operative development body in the region and are also supporting the foundation of communities of families who have lost their main breadwinner in the war.

Un Ponte Per (UPP) have been active in Italy and the Middle East for 28 years to promote peace, human rights and solidarity through information campaigns, cultural exchange, cooperation projects, peace building programmes and the creation of social justice networks.

Heyva Sor UK (Kurdish Red Moon/Crescent) are the UK branch of humanitarian non-profit organisation Kurdish Red Crescent, providing medical care and aid for refugees in Kurdistan, NES and beyond. They are a registered charity in the UK.

Roots for Change (RfC) are a non-profit environmental organization based in Switzerland, North-East Syria and Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Their mission is to promote the use of renewable energy, water conservation systems and sustainable agricultural practices, such as Agroforestry.

Save the Tigris are a campaign coalition supporting civil society movements working on dams, pollution and water management, including those for water rights in Iraq and in North-East Syria. The campaign has a network of water activists across the region and includes UPP.

How will the money be spent?

Funds raised will provide grants to local co-operatives, civil society organisations and democratic local municipalities, supporting both acute needs like water pumps for refugee camps where internally displaced people (IDPs) are living, as well as long term projects like co-operative farm irrigation systems and river cleaning initiatives. We want to create a fund that can respond to changing situations in a region that is extremely volatile, while still remaining highly accountable. 

The fund will be managed by two committees, one based in Europe, the other based in North-East Syria (NES). All projects that receive funds will be fully documented, with activities and expenditures tracked.

Several pre-identified projects are ready to roll. So once we have transferred the funds to the region, it shouldn't take long for your donations to be put to work. 

For example...

Supporting Aborîya Jin women’s co-operative projects:

  • Support for Aborîya Jin’s ecological women’s village project in Derik – a village based on the communal economy, run by women (predominantly economically-disadvantaged women, who have experience in agriculture). The main challenge is to find enough water to support agriculture.
  • Well drilling and water-pumping projects for projects being developed by Aborîya Jin; irrigation projects for newly formed co-operative farms, and small women's co-operatives where access to water is a necessity, such as those based on agriculture.

Support for NES local Directorates of Water plans, which include:

  • Restoring the Al Hemmeh water station, which has pumping capacity to re-fill Al Hemmeh reservoir (near Hasakeh) from the Khabour river. This is now urgent due to the bombing of Allok water station in Serekaniye.
  • Extending the water network to the Talae neighbourhood (in Hasakeh), where existing water tanks are not enough to meet the needs of the people;
  • Sewage systems and solid waste management in urban areas (like Qamishlo city, where the sewage gets into the river);
  • Water treatment consumables, rehabilitation/restoration, operation and maintenance of drinking water supply in urban areas;
  • Management of public fountains;
  • Water distillation / desalination;
  • Cleaning and purification of Jak Jak (Cax Cax in Kurdish) river in Qamishlo.

Supporting the Emergency response for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the hosting communities (in camps and outside):

  • Distribution of hygiene kits, water disinfection tablets, emergency water trucking, jerrycans, emergency sanitation facilities in IDP camps and informal sites, in host communities and collective centres;
  • The acquisition and installation of high-volume water pumps to deliver water from the Euphrates to isolated IDP camps;
  • Latrine repair and maintenance in camps;
  • Sustainable water supply systems for camps (such as Al Hole).

Become a fundraiser

Want to raise funds for this cause? It’s simple to get started.

Start fundraising


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

Our heartfelt thanks

No matter how small, every donation helps build support for the people of Rojava.

£12 or more

40 of 100 claimed

Latest edition of New Internationalist magazine

Upcoming July/August 2020 issue of New Internationalist – 'Betrayed again: Why we must back the Kurds'.

£20 or more

22 of 25 claimed

Digital subscriptions to STIR Magazine

One year digital subscriptions to STIR Magazine - the magazine for the new economy - kindly donated by www.stirtoaction.com

£20 or more

10 of 100 claimed

Women's Revolution poster A3

A beautiful Risograph poster designed by Autonomous Design Group, and printed by Footprint Workers Co-operative especially for the campaign - "For women's liberation, a cooperative economy, direct democracy and social ecology". Includes postage.

£20 or more

31 of 144 claimed

A 'Water for Rojava' mug

A limited edition mug with the campaign logo, beautifully designed for us by the Autonomous Design Group www.weareadg.org

£25 or more

7 of 200 claimed

MRGA book - Kurdish

The book of the campaign Make Rojava Green Again in Kurdish. Includes shipping.

£25 or more

28 of 200 claimed

MRGA book - English

The book of the campaign Make Rojava Green Again in English language. Includes shipping.

£25 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Box set of STIR Magazines

Box set of themed STIR Magazines (UK Only) - the magazine for the new economy - kindly donated by www.stirtoaction.com

£25 or more

2 of 200 claimed

MRGA book - German

The book of the campaign Make Rojava Green Again in German language. Includes shipping.

£25 or more

17 of 25 claimed

Co-operative tea towels

10 Reasons Co-ops Rock Organic Tea Towels. Originally designed by Molly McLead to promote the board game Co-opoly, these rad tea-towels have been donated by Unicorn Grocery Co-operative in Manchester. Includes shipping.

£25 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Digital subscriptions to Lumpen Journal

One year digital subscriptions to Lumpen - a Journal of Poor and Working Class writing. Not usually available to buy as a digital subscription, this is a special offer for the campaign, kindly donated by www.theclassworkproject.com

£30 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Signed copies of Chav Solidarity

A signed copy of the book 'Chav Solidarity' by DP Hunter, in internationalist solidarity with the working class everywhere. Includes shipping. Donated by DP Hunter and www.theclassworkproject.com

£30 or more

5 of 10 claimed

Print subscriptions to STIR Magazine

One year print subscriptions to STIR Magazine (UK Only) - the magazine for the new economy - kindly donated by www.stirtoaction.com

£30 or more

4 of 50 claimed

Make Rojava Green Again flag

A flag with the logo of the Make Rojava Green Again campaign. Size: 98x160cm. Includes shipping. Donated by www.makerojavagreenagain.org

£30 or more

3 of 10 claimed

Pre-release of Derek Wall's new book

Derek Wall has kindly donated some pre-release copies of his upcoming Climate Strike book, due to be released on 4 July, 2020.

£35 or more

1 of 2 claimed

Print subscriptions to Lumpen Journal

One year print subscriptions to Lumpen - a Journal of Poor and Working Class writing - kindly donated by www.theclassworkproject.com

£45 or more

26 of 40 claimed

Make Rojava Green Again T-Shirt

A t-shirt from the Make Rojava Green Again campaign (choice of colour, size and style). As seen here: https://black-mosquito.org/en/make-rojava-green-again-verschiedene-farben-tailliertes-shirt.html

£100 or more

Digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema and Music

Five full length Kurdish films, plus four short films - one from each part of Kurdistan - plus a collection of traditional Kurdish music. Full length films included in this package: 1) I am the Revolution 2) Berxweden Jiyane 3) Memories of Stone 4) Comander Arian 5) The Press

£150 or more

14 of 20 claimed

Traditional floral scarf from Kurdistan (+films!)

Traditional floral scarf from Kurdistan, kindly donated by the New York Kurdish Film and Cultural Festival (www.nykfcf.com). Choose from dark blue, burgundy, or black, all with tassel. Includes international shipping *PLUS* this reward comes in addition to the digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema & Music!

£200 or more

2 of 3 claimed

A pair of London Kurdish Film Festival passes

The London Kurdish Film Festival (LKFF) are supporting the campaign with three PAIRS of passes, giving full access to all films (except the Gala Film) at the next London Kurdish Film Festival *PLUS* the digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema & Music. Films galore! LKFF had to postpone the 11th edition of the festival due to covid19, but it will take place as soon as possible. New dates to be announced on www.lkff.co.uk

£300 or more

2 of 5 claimed

Original artwork by Janet Biehl

Janet Biehl has kindly donated two pieces of her original signed artwork. They are in ink and watercolour portraits inspired by Kurdish women dancing at the New Year festival Newroz. Includes international shipping *PLUS* the digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema and Music.

£600 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Joey Lawrence Photo Print (+films!)

A unique print by world-renowned photographer Joey Lawrence of a Kurdish woman baking bread in the Makhmour Refugee Camp. This photo, originally included in his book “We Came from Fire”, will be printed and signed by Lawrence specifically for the Water for Rojava campaign in a limited edition poster print size of approximately 17x22 inches on archival fine art paper. It will be mailed from New York after Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

£50 or more

10 of 10 claimed

‘Rojava Rose’ colour screen print (A3 size)

Limited edition 7 colour screen print of ‘Rojava Rose’ by Matt Bonner. Paper size: 44cm x32cm, with a print area of 42cm x 29.7cm (A3). Donated by Dog Section Press www.dogsection.org.

£50 or more

2 of 2 claimed

A tree!

Local variety of hand-grafted fruit tree (apple, pear, plum, gage or cherry) that is adapted to Northern England's climate. The fruit trees are collection only from the Sheffield Fruit Tree Nursery, where you can chose your favourite tree!

£200 or more

2 of 2 claimed

Artisanal chopping board

Hand-crafted bespoke walnut chopping boards made by a member of Brambles Housing Co-operative especially for this campaign. The attractive end grain design shows fewer knife marks and means your knives stay sharper for longer. These artisan boards are water-resistant with a food-grade finish and will be crafted bespoke to your taste (up to 300 x 400 x 50mm): contact roscoeblevins@pm.me for details *PLUS* the digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema & Music

£500 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A pair of tickets to the STIR to Action festival

A pair of tickets to the STIR to Action festival: 'Playground for the New Economy', set to take place in Frome (UK) from 1-3 September 2020. Join us for three days of inspiring conversations, interactive workshops, idea surgeries, virtual reality experiences, live podcasts, sustainable food, craft beer, wild swimming, and live music *PLUS* the digital Pack of Kurdish Cinema and Music.

£500 or more

1 of 1 claimed

A signed script of Maxine Peake’s 'Only Mountains'

A signed script of Maxine Peake's powerful radio drama ‘Only Mountains’ (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000g67x). The script will be signed by Maxine Peake, placed in a hard back binder and offered as a one-off exclusive reward in support of the campaign. This reward comes with the #Water4Rojava mug, women’s revolution poster AND the digital pack of Kurdish cinema and music!

Help 'Water for Rojava' happen

Payment and personal details are protected