Tomorrow, World Refugee Day, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees around the globe.
After fleeing violence and conflict, the opportunity to work and earn a living is one of the most effective ways refugees can rebuild their lives in dignity and peace. At Indego Africa, we know that women-owned businesses are instrumental in addressing poverty in vulnerable communities.
Since 2016, Indego has been helping Burundian and Congolese refugees in Rwanda improve their livelihoods and build long-term careers in the global artisan industry by integrating them into our global supply chain and investing in their education.
Indego Africa’s Economic Inclusion for Refugees program has provided artisan skills, business education, and steady income through market access to 150 female refugees and counting!
Artisan skills are transferable skills, creating long term economic security for the day the women and their families are no longer refugees, whether they remain in Rwanda or are able to return home to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Through partnerships with global initiatives including the Francine A. Lefrak Foundation, UNHCR’s MADE51 and UN Women, we are empowering formerly unemployed women the opportunity to enter the global artisan workforce - connecting refugee-made artisanal products with international consumers.
The words of Gloriose, leader of the Mahana Camp Akeza Cooperative, ring truer than ever:
"I want the world to know that refugees are just like others. We are as capable of working and learning as anybody else."
We are continually moved by our partners’ resiliency and determination to succeed and remain committed to creating a path for refugees to generate the sustainable income they need to thrive, not just survive.
Visit our UNHCR x Indego collection to shop our refugee made pieces!