For the first time ever, refugee-made products make it at Ambiente, the leading international consumer goods trade show, in Frankfurt, Germany.
UNHCR Egypt, along with nine other UNHCR country operations, are selling – for the first time ever – refugee-made products at Ambiente, the leading international consumer goods trade show, from 9-13 February 2018, in Frankfurt, Germany.
“Refugees have skills and talents that only need a chance to grow and flourish. Within each piece lies a story of history and culture, and the chance for a person who has fled war and persecution to offer something of beauty and style to the world,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
Refugees from Syria, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia have brought together their traditional skills, motifs and stories to create unique culturally blended products. Their skills were enhanced through trainings provided by the NilFurat project, one of UNHCR Egypt’s livelihood projects, and further supported with the help of many local volunteers, designers and professors from the German University in Cairo.
The refugee display at the fair is the result of MADE51, a new initiative by UNHCR and a global network of social enterprises to assist talented makers fleeing war or persecution achieve greater self-reliance and access the global marketplace. MADE51 also promotes keeping traditional crafts alive, preserving cultural heritage and indigenous techniques that might otherwise be lost.
Working and earning a living is key to bringing some stability to displaced people and helping them rebuild their lives. Refugees involved in the initiative are paid market prices.
“It is only through sales that these refugee artisans will be able to employ their skills and earn income. By including refugee-made products in their sourcing plans, retailers and brands have a vital role to play. They can be part of the solution,” added Grandi.
NilFurat is a creative initiative by UNHCR Egypt that builds on the qualities of cultural diversity of refugees and Egyptians living in the area of Hadayek Al Maadi in Cairo with the ultimate aim of promoting community cohesion, economic empowerment and inclusion of women. It is currently expanding its access to the marketplace with the support of “yadawee,” an Egyptian social enterprise that specializes in promoting and exporting high quality handicrafts from Egypt.
More information on Made51 here.