To commemorate its 70th anniversary, the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has teamed up with Syrian-Palestinian cartoonist, Hani Abbas, to launch its first NFT charity sale. Abbas worked with the agency’s national partner for Switzerland, Switzerland for UNHCR, to create the NFTs. The agency will use the proceeds from the sale to support the people of Afghanistan.
The collection went live on November 4 and is now up for sale on OpenSea. The price of each NFT ranges from 0.1 ETH (around $474) to 0.7 ETH (around $3,320).
All about UNHCR’s NFT charity sale
For UNHCR’s NFT collection, Abbas drew digital versions of seven cartoons he published between 2011 and 2018. Then, ten copies of each were converted into unique NFTs. Titled “Windows,” the collection depicts many of his personal experiences.
Abbas grew up in Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. His cartoons, which centre around the themes of “injustice, loss, and the human cost of conflict”, began appearing in publications in Syria and the Middle East in the late 1990s. Later, in 2012, he, along with his family, fled Syria and settled in Switzerland as refugees.
In an interview with UNHCR, Abbas described his NFT collection in detail. “What is the meaning of windows in my heart? They are our windows to see the country, to see people – to connect with them and hear them,” he said. “In 2011, after four months of the conflict I drew the first window – a destroyed building with just a window still standing, and a young man waiting outside with a flower to see his love, who was gone. It represents what we’ve lost.”
“I’ve drawn other figures who have left everything else behind but take a window with them, because the window is their memory,” he added. “I have my own ideas and feelings about the images, but I hope everyone who looks at them can see the effect of war on people.”
NFTs for a cause
UNHCR is not the first to drop NFTs to raise money for charity. Jack Butcher, the founder of New York-based graphic design agency Visualize Value, had established a similar Afghanistan NFT Fund in August to support displaced families.
That’s not all. Lately, a number of NFT projects have been raising funds for a cause or charity. For instance, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Germany dropped its debut NFT collection earlier this month to spread awareness about endangered species. Moreover, WWF will use all proceeds from the sales to support its various projects to save endangered species and their habitats.
Similarly, top NFT collectibles, Wicked Craniums has partnered with Sandclock Org for an NFT charity sale. For this, its parent firm, Reckless Labs has created an exclusive 1/1 NFT collection called ‘The God Craniums’, containing five 1/1 skull Gods. All proceeds from the sales will go to four charitable organizations—UNICEF, Acumen, Mercy Corps, and Health Finance Institute.
WiV Technology, meanwhile, recently wrapped up its charity auction of the 1912 Ojaleshi wine as NFT. The sale proceeds went to the President Salome Zourabishvili Foundation and the Salkhino Monastery.