If you're Ukrainian, please use this link to donate
Why are you pestering me?
Hi! If you don't know me, I'm Peter and I'm running a mere 10k to raise money for a cause I care a lot about! Namely, the Gender Culture Centre and Gender Museum in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
Why should I care about this?
On a personal level or a charity level?
Yes. Both. Get on with it.
OK, right: important charity stuff first. (Skip to the end for my personal nonsense.)
The Gender Culture Centre and Gender Museum is a unique institution in Ukraine and, quite probably, Eastern Europe.
After years of struggling and hard work, they've finally been able to make an ambitious move to new premises! They're fundraising to support this transition and continue their everyday activities.
So what do they do?
Their focus is on education and discussion of gender equality across all levels of society, providing interactive education, business support, and a resource centre.
Trainers from the Gender Culture Centre consider best practices and hold training to prevent gender-based violence and encourage equality.
The attached museum educates people about issues unique to Ukraine, the history of women's suffrage and the feminist movement, as well as the modern day activities of related NGOs.
To find out more about the history of the Centre, take a look at this great article from EU4CivilSociety!
Yes, but what about men?
Ugh. I knew we'd have to tackle this, imaginary donor. What about men?
Are they involved in this or do they benefit from the Centre?
Actually, yes! The centre also focuses on issues that negatively affect males, including the difficulties men in navigating their role in society. This includes mental health, redefining what it means to be nurturing, and new masculine identities. I've even been lucky enough to deliver talks about these issues at the Centre.
I hope that's sufficient for anyone asking that question in earnest.
All that admin and moving as well as running the centre sounds like a headache.
You don't know the half of it. Imagine doing all of that AND renovating a crumbling premises to a safe and modern standard AND doing your day job.
What?! You mean to say the people who manage and run the Centre are doing the actual renovation work? Like, with tools and drills and concrete and wiring?
Yep. Way better than I ever could. As the first official visitor to the new Centre, I've seen the directors and managers of the place putting Rosie the Riveter to shame.
You can see what a labour of love this is for everyone at the Centre. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself and the work being done there is incredible and incredibly taxing.
Why is the money going to you and not the charity?
This is the British donation page for my fundraising for the Gender Culture Centre and Gender Museum in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
The charity is registered in Ukraine, which is a bit difficult for fundraising in the UK. I've set up this page so that I can collect money in sterling and then send it directly to the Gender Culture Centre.
As a result, there are no costs to the charity. Furthermore, I will personally match all donations up to the first £100, more than covering any GoFundMe costs.
If you would prefer to donate to the Centre directly, please visit this link for the Ukrainian fundraising site. Donation options range from 50UAH (£1.80) to 1000uah (£29).
I want to donate a different way
Amazing! Contact me, I can arrange for fee-free transfers of USD, AUD, and EUR.
You could check out my company website, if you like. Or come cheer me on on 20th October. Either would be very appreciated.
Personal Nonsense (if you desperately need to keep reading)
Two things happened recently.
1) I was finally granted extended leave to stay in Ukraine, meaning I could work more with a whole host of groups I've wanted to engage with for years but couldn't promise my time to.
2) This year, apropos of nothing except feeling anxiety and a vague sense I was wasting my life and my health, I woke up one morning and took up running.
Like, literally Forrest Gump-ing it, woke up and declared "Gotta run." and then ran 10k. Yes, this was silly. I'm well aware.
I've been going at it ever since and I want to test and push my limits. I want to stress how utterly new and bewildering this change is to me, I am in no way an experienced (or perhaps even competent) runner.
Now that I'm vaguely healthy and I have more control over my company out here, I wanted to pick an official charity for my company (Lucky Pupil) to support.
The Gender Culture Centre and Gender Museum have always been an important part of Ukraine for me, now I can actually do something for them.
How far are you running?
I am very, very new to this running malarky. So the first stage is a 10k run at Kharkiv Airport on 20th October. This will be the initial stage of fundraising for me, just to see what we can make in a month.
However, I've also (foolishly?) signed up for a half-marathon and a marathon early next year. Expect me to chart my increasing bodily disintegration through further fundraising as they approach!