Hi, I’m Jaz, the founder of The World Wide Tribe, a non-profit organisation based on the belief that we are all members of one tribe, the world is our home and we should all share it accordingly. Through creative storytelling, photography, film and art we hope to inspire people to take action and to use their own skills and experience to be the change they wish to see in the world.
I was a student at NTU myself. I studied Fashion Design and International Fashion Business. This experience and degree left me with a lot of transferable skills and showed me the limitless possibilities when it came to what I could do next. My message to any student would be that the sky is the limit and that NTU sets you up with a great foundation for many many paths.
What originally started out as a travel blog, documenting my adventures and the people I was meeting around the world, very quickly evolved into something much bigger after I decided to visit the Calais Jungle with some friends back in August 2015. My trip to the Jungle came at a time when the media headlines were full of negative depictions of refugees as ‘swarms of migrants’ and ‘marauding migrants’.
Arriving in Calais I was completely overwhelmed by the love and warmth we were greeted with by the community that day, as they welcomed us into their makeshift homes and willingly shared what little they had with us. After returning home I couldn’t help but feel incredibly emotional and frustrated by all I had seen so decided to share my experience of the Jungle by posting on Facebook. I woke up to discover that my post had been shared 65,000 times overnight. What followed was an immense outpouring of support that has resulted in The Worldwide Tribe today – a growing non-profit organisation that has a direct, positive impact on a ground level.
From galvanising an audience of over 55,000 people, to installing WiFi in Calais and Lesvos; from producing films highlighting stories that need to be heard, to supporting vital grassroots projects in Turkey and Jordan, we have worked with love, compassion and unity toward a better future for us all. In a world where the mainstream media often fails to highlight the humanity behind the crisis we aim to give a voice to those who need to be heard, all across the world. The time we have spent in the camps over the past two years has allowed us to build relationships, form friendships and gain a level of trust that enables us to give an unprecedented and intimate perspective of this crisis. This inside perspective has enabled us to understand the needs of the people in the camps on a deeper level. In this way our work has ranged from helping to build and run our EKO project- a multi-functional learning space for children and adults, organising football tournaments, putting on impromtu gigs, to distributing disposable cameras for refugees so that they can document the camps from their own perspective.
With our creative flair and the help of amazing volunteers and donations we have been able to bring hope and compassion to people who’s lives have been torn apart through no fault of their own. Unfortunately the crisis currently unfolding in Europe is not going to disappear overnight and we are focussed on developing sustainable and long term solutions so that communities of refugees can learn how to not only survive but thrive.
For anyone who would like to find out more or get involved, you can volunteer, donate or fundraise via our website: http://www.theworldwidetribe.com
Alternatively, you can keep up to date with intimate, daily insights from the camp on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/theworldwidetribe) or Instagram @theworldwidetribe.
-Thank you to Jaz, former NTU student and founder of The World Wide Tribe, for writing this blog post!
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