Hundreds of mats, designed by legendary artist Banksy and hand-stitched by women displaced by war and poverty, are championing change in one Greek refugee camp.
The project, led by social enterprise Love Welcomes, has been helping refugees re-discover their self-worth, bringing them dignity and hope in a time of great despair – with results already being seen across the camp.
And it all started with mats, hand-made by women in the camp and created using fabric from life-vests abandoned on the local beaches.
Each one holds a key part of the refugee story and, now, money raised from the Banksy Welcome Mat is directly supporting the camp community.
With just 500 mats sold in the first batch (and many more to come), already an additional 33 women have been employed as part of the Love Welcomes project, giving them the chance to earn a real wage and gain the confidence to rebuild their lives.
But it doesn’t stop there.
While the Love Welcomes goal is based around giving women the opportunity to learn employable skills to use in the future, it also helps them to support services directly within the camp.
This, in turn, sees everyone benefit from better healthcare, as well as access to legal services, with six to 10 buses now provided each week to the city of Athens – and three refugees employed to run them.
This means that 132 people are now directly supported by the women off the back of the Banksy Welcome Mat project (with on average one employed woman supporting the well-being of four people – those of which are often children), and it’s just the beginning.
That’s to say, the Banksy Welcome Mat is by no-means a one-off edition – but only by purchasing one from Love Welcomes can you be sure that your money is going directly towards supporting the project.
And it’s a project that’s becoming increasingly more vital, with more than 2,400 people arriving in the camp so far this year, putting more pressure on services than ever before.
However, with each mat sold is the chance to invest in jobs for women, which create resource, independence and confidence, while protecting families and supporting these key services in the community.
Something which you can also be a part of.
So, to sign up for our next release of the Banksy Welcome Mat, click here.
You can read more about the mat here.