Welcome to the online press kit for Katherine Davies and #message4peace

#message4peace, Walk Against War

The Syrian war has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and heightened the risk of terrorism around the world; Katherine Davies is walking 600 miles from London to Geneva to help engage the public voice to pressure for peace in Syria

For five years an appalling tragedy has unfolded in Syria while the world stood by, powerless. More than 250,000 people have been killed, a nation is in ruins and millions of adults and children are displaced in the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

We’ve all been there. We hear about war, refugees, terror and suffering. We want to help, but don’t know where to begin. Reading the dispiriting headlines in a London café, Katherine Davies got angry. Then she decided to act.

Davies, founder and CEO of iguacu, a global platform for effective giving, put down her New York Times and decided to go for a walk – 600 miles from London to Geneva. Her goal: to help empower the public voice by collecting millions of messages from ordinary people around the world at www.message4peace.com.

#message4peace is an antidote to the complacency, inertia and hopelessness people feel when faced with an enormous, complex disaster like the Syrian civil war. It allows people to make their voices heard and express their desire for peace through social media and at message4peace.com. Katherine is collecting these messages while trekking almost 1,000 kilometers across Europe and will deliver them en masse to the special envoy in charge of peace negotiations in Geneva in April, 2016.

“When the parties to the conflict meet in Geneva, the public voice is absent,” Katherine says. “But a great many people all over the world are disturbed by the relentless suffering of the Syrian people. The #message4peace campaign engages this voice."

#message4peace allows people to quickly create and send messages of hope and encouragement to the Syrian people. The more messages the greater the pressure for peace. Inspired by past global actions where the public voice was successfully mobilized, such as the 1980s campaign against Apartheid in South Africa, #message4peace also taps the power of digital social connection. By raising the ante on negotiators to end the war, the collective public pressure empowered by #message4peace can not only help to stop the bloodshed and ease suffering, but in doing so, can help to improve global security and shut down a toxic breeding ground for terrorism.

As she posts updates on her journey, Katherine can shed light on topics including:

* #message4peace: How Anyone Can Help End a War (without walking 600 miles!)
* Syrian Refugees and the Crisis: What You Probably Don’t Know
* Countering Terrorism: Shut Down the Source
* You Are Not Forgotten: Reaching out in compassion to the people of Syria who feel abandoned by the world
* Movements and Moments: The Power of the Public Voice for Change

Katherine holds a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She worked as a journalist, campaign manager and researcher for a member of the British House of Commons and Goldman Sachs prior to founding iguacu (pronounced igwah-soo) in 2014. The global platform is named for the massive waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil. The name signifies how the voices of millions can swell to a torrent to bring about change.

iguacu (www.weareiguacu.com) exists to channel the compassion of millions of people who feel thwarted in their desire to help ease suffering such as what we are witnessing in Syria. Katherine brought together a team of top researchers and developers to create the not-for-profit social enterprise, registered in the UK, to help people worldwide get the maximum impact for their charitable giving.

“The word iguacu means 'big water' and it is the name of a great river in South America which leads to the world's most beautiful waterfall,” Katherine says. "If we liken one person's compassionate intention to a drop of water, we can envisage that intention – en masse – as a powerful river. And when a great many act together, we can create something as beautiful, powerful and inspiring as the falls of Iguacu."

Download a One Pager for #message4peace.

For more information, visit www.message4peace.com and www.weareiguacu.com.
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