For the women who create our beautiful products this year has been harder than ever. Naima fled Syria more than four years ago and is now one of our most accomplished weavers. She left her home village when the war arrived and made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean sea in search of safety and a better future for her children.
This year, because of Covid-19, Naima and her children have been put under severe lockdown in the refugee camp - which continues today - along with all the other women we work with. The refugee community has been unable to access fresh food, their finances, health services, and legal services. Children have been excluded from school. This is proving a great risk to people physically, financially, and mentally.
In 2020 many of us around the world have had a tiny glimpse of life under lockdown. We have felt what it’s like to have an unexpected crisis totally disrupt our lives.
At Love Welcomes we are calling on our community around the world to go further this year in the choices they make. We are asking people to fully embrace the season of thanksgiving and goodwill and share gifts that go further.
Where a gift for your Mum provides skills training, and where an upcycled hand-woven new bag for your best friend provides a fair wage.
Due to the events of 2020 we believe that our community around the world has been drawn closer together than ever before. Earlier in the year we asked our supporters to send messages of hope to the women in Greece. One of the messages read:
“When I opened the box with my rug in it I felt so overwhelmed. Me and my daughter stood in the kitchen and cried as we held it. It Is my most prized possession. I stand on it and think of all the suffering you must have gone through, or still do, and on my hardest days I think if you can survive what you have survived, I can do what I need to do in this moment. Moment by moment we get through. And hope pushes us forward. I love you and am so grateful for you.”
Our concept is simple - every time you buy a product from the Love Welcomes collection, you’re not only buying a gift for a loved one, but you’re also gifting us the opportunity to support the women who are making the gift.
This festive season we have a whole new range of products beautifully hand-crafted by women under lockdown in the refugee camp in Greece.
It all starts with upcycling materials reclaimed from the life vests and blankets worn by frightened, exhausted refugees as they wash up on European shores.
Woven into the very fabric of our welcome mats, cushions and placemats, this material becomes a part of each beautiful gift that is handcrafted by our strong team of refugee women. They are then sold around the world, with proceeds from each sale going directly to those who wove them.
From supporting the women to learn new weaving skills, to affording things like transportation to lawyer meetings or the local food market, every penny is used in their journey to start again.
Essentially, we want to give women the ability to support themselves and their families through employable skills, providing them with dignity and the ability to build their lives in a safe and stable society.
So, this year more than others we can make a difference. As another of our supporters said:
“You are not refugees, you are models of courage and kindness. We love you. You are seen. You are heard. You are welcome. Thank you for making our countries better. Thank you for your stunning work. Stay strong “
Gift your mother a hand-woven festive Cushion, your sister a Clutch Bag or your best friend a stunning new bag – we promise that every product is more than beautiful.