£420.00Donated So Far
Hello all my dear friends, I have started a fundraising initiative to help keep the doors of the Bona Fide Safe House open, the beds warm and anyone who has the pleasure of passing through the wonderful house's, stomachs full.
Some of you may have heard me talk about this project but I assure you none of my words are enough to capture the spirit and beauty of Bona Fide. The founder, known as Mama Sabina, for that is who she is, has been in living in the town of Pljevlja on the Northern border of Montenegro for some time now; a strong and caring woman endowed with all the love and ferocity of a momma bear. She always has and continues to fight against all social injustice.
Bona Fide started here as a domestic abuse shelter, providing sanctuary and support to women who had survived abuses. The center helped women with a safe place to sleep and the skills and opportunity to financially provide for themselves and leave abusive and oppressive situations. In 2017 it was recognized that there was an influx of families transiting through the town on their way to Bosnia and the Northern countries of Western Europe. Unable to sit by idly and let folks suffer the harsh winters and unforgiving social and geographic environment of Northern Montenegro, the doors of Bona Fide opened to people transiting. Since that time, the house has been a kind and caring embrace and a warm bowl of soup for people facing the bitter cold.
Mama Sabina will sit with you and share the names and memories of everyone who has passed through her house. She will recount individuals journeys and the moments she shared with them in solidarity while tears well in her eyes. She knows all too well how is it to be considered outside of society's consideration or concern. She is strongly independent and adamant about people being people, and that every life, every word, every experience is something worth sharing and being there emotionally and physically.
Bona Fide does not reduce people to statistics, numbers, groups, or externally prescribed labels. While this is the way all people should be approached, it is not the case and certainly not when it comes to people in vulnerable positions, like those who transit the Balkans. Folks are all too willing to categorize, number and document people, removed from the realities and physical situation and personal connection that is required in order to see a person as a person. These practices are exported and used as bargaining chips against those who want the personal connection and to share all the intimacies required in practicing solidarity as a way to gain the financial and material means necessary to be there for folks.
Bona Fide has constantly and strictly abstained from the corrupting hands of institutional actors that wish to collect information, write grants, submit papers and generally garner social and political capital off the backs of people on the front lines, doing work, being there with people for people as a person. This has put the project in a financially precarious situation though. Being unwilling and frankly unable to capitulate with governments and other organizations' demands for documentation has made Bona Fide somewhat of a black sheep in the activist community. The project struggles through with help from a few close comrades, family and people in the local community but needs more in order to maintain the house and the project in a dignified way. It is with this that we’re asking the individual community for any funds they might have available in order to keep this project alive. The immediate goal is a car, which could transport hand made goods to further away cities on the coast to sell, and propel the project forward using its own sustainability again.
No updates for this campaign just yet