Sunday, November 09, 2008

Amnesty International Greeting Cards Campaign

A few days ago I spent a few quid in the Post Office, doing my bit for the AIUK Greetings Card Campaign.

The annual Greetings Card Campaign brings people across the world in touch with each other in a simple way - sending a card with a friendly greeting or message of solidarity to someone who is in danger or unjustly imprisoned. These are prisoners of conscience, people under sentence of death, human rights defenders under threat because of their work, and others at risk.

The campaign, which runs from 1 November to 31 January, offers hope and encouragement to the people who receive our cards. It can also help bring about change - the impression their international mail makes on police, prison staff or political authorities can help keep them safe.

There are 30 people, families or groups listed, for whom Amnesty International think that receiving greetings cards would support them, help them in their campaigns, or draw attention to their situation. Realistically, I knew that I couldn't send cards to all 30, if only because of the international postage that I would incur, so instead I chose 9 recipients. I chose all the women, and one of the men in Guantanamo Bay.

I used some of my photographs to make cards, and wrote encouraging messages based on the advice given by Amnesty, and got them posted.

It is a really worthwhile thing to do - it's easy, it doesn't have to be expensive (you can choose as many people or as few to send cards to), and it can make a massive difference to the people who receive them. Some have had relatives missing for years, others in prison; many, many desperate situations.

Amnesty provides full information about what you should or shouldn't write, whether the cards or messages should be religious or not, whether you should mention Amnesty or add your own address.

Seriously, just go there, pick some folks and get writing a few cards. Small things can make a huge difference.

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