START Launches World Refugee Day Campaign with Cadre of Powerful Artists and Paddle8

Online Auction with Iconic Artwork to Run Internationally

START, a charity which organizes workshops for refugees, orphans and special needs children across the Middle East and India – will collaborate with a series of international and local artists for World Refugee Day on June 20. In partnership with online auction house Paddle8, an exclusive auction will raise awareness for the refugee crisis across the Middle East while highlighting START’s efforts to support vulnerable children through the medium of art. The two-week auction will raise the funds to support START’S refugee programs in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, India, Egypt and the UAE. Bidding will be available online from June 19 through July 3.

Since its inception in 2007, START has helped to heal and educate children who have suffered from war, pain and loss. Many of their students have perceived things no child should ever see, so START workshops provide these vulnerable children a safe and secure environment to learn, interact with their peers, develop their skills and creativity.

Deeply committed to supporting displaced Palestinian and Syrian children – many of whom have not been fortunate enough to receive any formal education – the workshops give them the opportunity to be kids again. To laugh, create and have fun in a safe and free environment – a reality some children can only dream of.

START will be able to continue to reach over 1,500 children every week through their workshops as part of the World Refugee Campaign. The auction will allow the organization to reach more children, change additional lives and bring further hope. The cadre of international and local artists who have donated works to raise funds during the auction includes: Katrin Fridriks, Pryce Lee, Erik Foss, Drew Conrad, Pablo Power, Heath West, Jeannete Hayes, Lauren Seldan, Maisoon Al Saleh, Rania Jishi, Reza Derakshani, Alia Dawood, Yasmina Alaoui, Milma McMillan and Aziz Al Mudhaf. As artists, they believe in START’s Mission and understand in the power of art, how it can help heal and empower the younger generation. By supporting START, they can bring colour and passion back into refugee children’s lives. Previous artists who have collaborated with START, include Aaron Young, Mr Brainwash and Swoon.

“We are honoured to have the support of fantastic artists, spreading global awareness for World Refugee Day and our mission to heal and educate vulnerable children who have suffered from war, pain and loss. As the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently said, “Refugees have been deprived of their homes, but they must not be deprived of their futures.” We want to give children and young adults an opportunity to create a future as rich and free as their imaginations. These children need us and critically need you. The artists and patrons support sustains our programme, helping children already in our workshops. As a result. this support enables us to reach more children, changing more lives, bringing more hope”, said Nicola Lee, START Director.

 The auction runs from June 19 to July 3. To participate in the auction,

@startworld1 – Instagram and Twitter

#START #WorldRefugeeDay #WRD #Art #Children #Charity


START was founded in 2007 by Art Dubai and the Al Madad Foundation and is now an independent registered charity in Dubai and the United Kingdom. For more information about START or how to get involved, visit

About Paddle8

Paddle8 is the premier online collecting destination, presenting auctions of extraordinary art, design, jewelry, watches, and collectibles. Using innovative technology, Paddle8 has streamlined the collecting experience, combining the excitement and expertise of an auction house with efficient operational solutions and an international perspective. In addition, Paddle8 has partnered with over 350 non-profit organizations worldwide to present benefit auctions to our global community of 500,000 collectors, helping each organization expand its fundraising results. Founded in 2011, Paddle8 has over 100 employees worldwide, with teams in New York, L.A., and London. Paddle8 is funded by the investors behind Uber, Vimeo, Buzzfeed, Paperless Post, Warby Parker, and Bonobos, among others, as well as art-world insiders including artist Damien Hirst and art dealer Jay Jopling.

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