Sometimes the biggest ideas come from small places, and this is the case with a small town in Germany called Wunsiedel and the residents who revolutionized a charity.
To begin with, Wunsiedel had a problem on their hands – a Nazi problem. Every year, neo-nazis/far right extremists march through the small town, demanding that a fascist regime, like Hitler’s, be reinstated. They march through Wunsiedel carrying WWII Nazi Infantry helmets on crucifixes, swastikas, and neo-nazi flags.
In order to stop this, an organization by the name of “Rechts gegen Rechts” (Right against Right), took matters into their own hands. According to the visitor page on their website, they went to several corporations and NGOs (Non-government organizations) asking for money. They ended up raising 10,000 Euros (about $12475 in USD and $16285 in SGD). After that, they set up a system where for each meter walked by the neo-nazis, 10 Euros was donated to a charity called “EXIT – Deutschland,” a charity that specializes in helping people try to escape these far-right extremist groups.
Then came the Nazis with all sorts of banners, flags, and apparel to support their favorite fuhrer.
But instead of walking the usual march as they had for years, the neo-nazis got something they didn’t expect. This year they were greeted with motivational banners from the Rechts gegen Rechts organization, telling them to “Sprint instead of victory!” and “Swift as the wind dog!”
To mock the neo-nazis even further, they put a snack table with bananas on it, with a banner above the table saying, “Mein Mampf” (My Munch).
Rechts gegen Rechts ended up donating 10.000 € to EXIT- Deutschland as a part of all of this, meaning the Nazis might as well have all shot themselves in the foot rather than have made that march. Their intent was to gain more support for their neo-nazi cause, but instead they helped raise lots of money for those who most strongly oppose them.
It’s absolute genius to use the strength of the opposition against themselves. Perhaps this is something we at SAS can learn from.
- A charity that donates $10 to anti-bullying charities in Singapore every time there’s a case of bullying in Singapore.
- A charity that donates $1 to anti-littering charities for every piece of litter found.
- A charity that donates or even gives subsidies to a charity like Blue Dragon whenever a human trafficking incident occurs.
- A charity that donates $50 to the Singapore police department every time a crime occurs, misdemeanor or felony, in Singapore.
The only issue that arises from this is where we get the money.
For money to donate to charities like this, we could possibly either ask the school itself to fund them or raise money through runs, bake sales, or other creative fundraisers.
There’s a lot we can do with this lesson from Germany, and more specifically from the organization Rechts gegen Rechts. Raising money for the right cause is not always easy – but it might get easier if we turn the power of the perpetrators against themselves.