15th October 2020
Prism the Gift Fund is excited to be working with RAAH. Fest Fund, the latest Collective Fund operating under Prism’s auspices. RAAH. Fest Fund are running an online festival streaming October 24th2020, which aims to raise £1 million for organisations supporting human rights and social justice. The music and arts festival will be streaming on YouTube, and is expected to be viewed by over 200,000 people on the day. The festival is being run with the help of over 120 volunteers.
Founder Jasminder Odusanya, a former shelf stacker from Birmingham, had the idea behind RAAH. Fest during lockdown having been made redundant from her job. Jasminder saw friends go through the trauma of being deported or being detained unfairly, and she decided to do something about it; the festival aims to raise awareness of these issues. One issue that will be looked at more closely is modern-day slavery; there are an estimated 40.3 million people trapped in modern-day slavery (1), forced labour, and forced marriage, 71% of which are women and girls, and 25% under 18 years old (2). In 2019, the number of British people identified as being victims of modern slavery increased by 72% in a year (3). The festival will include documentaries and personal stories from people who have experienced migration displacement, human trafficking, racial discrimination, or other injustices.
“I first thought about launching a festival after seeing many of my friends experience first-hand the issues the festival is raising awareness of. I was tired of seeing friends go through the trauma of being deported or being detained unfairly. I’d had enough and decided to do something about it by setting up RAAH. Fest.” – Jasminder Odusanya
The eight-hour festival will feature performances from 30 artists including, Joy Crookes, Inoxia, Poppy Ajudha and Gabrielle Aplin. Local bands and international acts will be performing, including filmmakers and artists. The event will also include real life testimonials from speakers ranging from sex trafficking survivors to accounts of migration, alongside celebrity and ambassador endorsement videos, Q&A sessions, and promotional videos showing the positive impact of the chosen 20 beneficiary charities and social enterprises. You can read some of the testimonials behind Jasminder’s inspiration for RAAH. Fest below:
At aged 13 he had just arrived alone in the UK after fleeing Afghanistan. The Taliban had murdered his dad, sister and younger brother. His mother and older brother were still missing, despite the Red Cross searching for them. Over 10 years, he was wrongly refused asylum six times. Nas feared being deported back to Afghanistan. It took over 10,000 signatures for the Home Office to finally listen to. In February 2019, Nas was told he could stay in the UK. He’s now 24 and training to be a support worker, but one day hopes to become a fire fighter.
At aged 16, Samantha met an older woman who groomed her and set her off on a downward spiral. Through being exploited by her and a man, who eventually was imprisoned, she survived drug abuse, human trafficking and satanic ritual abuse.
As the founder of Diamond You Projects, a charity that supports other people who have been through these horrific experiences, Samantha has raised tens of thousands of pounds for Amnesty and other charities, using her experiences to inspire the nation.
Jasminder has teamed up with fellow Birmingham residents, including fashion designer Lawrence Gonzales, who has designed the merchandise for the festival. Gonzales works as a designer for Emporio Armani and his own label Akonomy. Gonzales commented, “RAAH. Fest merchandise is a great way to raise funds for the chosen charities and it’ll also help RAAH. Fest become a physical movement that everyone can take with them for the rest of their lives – we’re raising consciousness through fashion.”
Jasminder is hopeful the festival will become an annual event!