We are proud to make beautiful things, but there’s so much more to it than that. Because everything we sell creates jobs for women who are refugees and transforms refugee lives. That is our mission as an organisation.
We believe that when Love Welcomes refugees, it creates a global response based on dignity, inclusion, economic and social well-being. Our vision is a world where the negative perception and treatment of refugees is changed.
Transforming refugee lives is only possible when we come together as a community. The women we work with in Greece are able to have regular work and skills training, around the world we can purchase products, share stories, and promote the work.
We see high engagement not just through surveys but through social media and messages sent to Love Welcomes - empathy, inspiration and action are common outcomes which come from buying a product which is more than beautiful.
“The story behind the products...I love giving them as gifts and being able to talk about where they came from, what they’re made from and who made them.” Supporter feedback
“(I) 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.” Supporter message
Our responsibility as an organisation is to build on your support - and that’s where the Theory of Change comes in. The Theory of Change is a development model through which we map out and test every action we take. It’s the blueprint for how we deliver a loving welcome for refugees most effectively and how we not only sustain, but replicate the model.
“We are more than an organisation, we are a community. A community recognising that refugees are forced to escape devastating trauma. A community committed to offering a loving welcome built on dignity, inclusion, well-being and opportunities. The Theory of Change is our blueprint, spelling out each action we take, the community we serve and our vision for a world where every refugee receives a loving welcome.” Abi Hewitt, CEO Love Welcomes
The Theory of Change process has been a collaboration involving the refugee community, our staff, our customers and supporters. Through surveys and discussions, we have drawn a common pathway and a feeling of ownership for those involved. The following is a summary of the key areas, giving you a snapshot of our model.
Love Welcomes begins by employing women who are refugees, offering them skills training, and supporting them to make beautiful products. This hand of hope and opportunity immediately improves mental well-being - unwinding the mental response of fear & flight in favor of belief and confidence in a healing environment.
“I have many achievements from Love Welcomes, for example creative skills, fabrics, (earning) money. I have become hopeful.” Love Welcomes team, Greece
We believe women who are refugees are changemakers - in fact we know this as on average each woman supports 4-6 other refugees! So we know through them we are transforming lives in the wider community, and from the products we sell we are directly investing in economic infrastructure and access to key services - like buses to create an environment of support which is so critical to healing from trauma.
“The bus service [provided by Love Welcomes] means a lot to all, it helps us to facilitate our appointments to Athens and Chalkida e.g. hospitals, all necessary docs needed from various offices, asylum services & food stuff.” Love Welcomes team, Greece
These opportunities, this support is powerful - jobs, skills, infrastructure, key services but if we stopped there we know we would be improving lives but not transforming lives. Each refugee is on a journey, fleeing unimaginable situations, homes destroyed, loved ones lost.
The women we work with are seeking new homes for them and their families - in communities which offer a welcome not based on judgement but on humanity and helping others get back on their feet. That is why we work closely with the host-community outside the refugee camp, building bridges through societal partnerships (Government, partner NGOs, institutions), business partnerships (thread supplier, weaving shops, import/export companies, upcycling), local employment and improved relations and understanding.
“Collaborating with Love Welcomes has meant thousands of damaged blankets have not been sent to landfill.” Alison Terry-Evans from NGO partner Dirty Girls
Improved relations and understanding are a challenge not just in host-communities but around the world and we believe the stories we share behind each product we produce encapsulate the journey and the hope in supporting refugees. A loving welcome leading to a positive transformation from suffering to a new start based on dignity, inclusion, social and economic well-being. Our vision is to challenge the perception and treatment of refugees around the world.
“I love gifts with meaning” Supporter feedback
So, every piece from Love Welcomes is a tiny piece of a much bigger story and a growing community.
Love Welcomes is a community of hope, of laughter, working together. With this amount of love and care, of course everything we make is beautiful. But it’s also much more than that.