LIVELIHOOD AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION PROJECTS
Project: MADE51 - A new refugee artisan brand
Implementing Agency: UNHCR
The artisanal sector is now the second largest employer in the developing world and presents significant employment opportunities for refugees. MADE51 - implemented in nine countries by UNHCR, the UN Agency for Refugees - offers a potential lifeline to refugee artisans in several countries around the world.
MADE51, standing for Market Access, Design and Empowerment for refugee artisans, is a brand that connects talented refugee artisans with international markets in order to help them sell their unique and authentic hand-made products. UNHCR is scaling up this initiative in order to create a sustainable business model by creating artisanal ‘hubs’ within refugee populations, growing their capacity, and providing seed capital and access to both local and global customer bases. It provides a route through which refugees can supply high-quality and market-ready products to customers worldwide.
For example, in the Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda, the project offers vocational training and basic business education to a group of women artisans. The artisans are retrained in the traditional needle-and-thread skills needed to wrap hand-dyed sisal around bunches of sweet grass, creating tightly coiled, durable, and attractive bags and baskets. A local social enterprise, Indego Africa, helps them ensure that the products are of a high enough quality to be desirable in their own right, both globally and locally.
Andan works in collaboration with MADE51 to provide refugees with a sustainable return to work. The majority of artisans are women, who on average invest 90% of their income into their families, which has a multiplier effect on the wider refugee population.
If you would like to receive further information on this project or contribute to this aspect of our work, please contact us below.
The refugee cause cannot be ignored. It is the most important global challenge today, and the most pressing call-to-arms for those wishing to achieve a genuine impact.