World Refugee Day is held every year in June 20. According to UNHCR, there are more than 50 million refugees around the world, half of which are women and children.
For 24 years now, WEAVE has been working with refugee and displaced women artisans to support their weaving of traditional crafts and help them to access income. Their handicrafts are an important source of livelihoods providing employment and income for their family.
“If you happened to visit a refugee camp or settlement anywhere in the world, no doubt that you have come across fine-looking handicrafts like wallets, scarves and bags made by the refugees and sold on site for a few dollars.Either the final product of spontaneous refugees’ initiatives or NGO-run projects, these items rarely represent a sustainable opportunity for refugee self-reliance and hardly sell outside the market of humanitarian workers commuting between the field and their HQs.Luckily, exceptions are there to surprise us and show us alternative ways to do business – with refugees and on their behalf. Thai social enterprise WEAVE Fair Trade
produces and sells in national and international markets handicrafts made by refugee women living in camps along the western Thai-Burma border.”
WEAVE joined the world last June 19th, 2014 in recognizing the resilience of forcibly displaced people throughout the world at Mae La Refugee Camp. Facial painting, drawing, concerts and different activities were set up to commemorate this day. Through our ‘Give joy to a Refugee Child’ campaign we gave handmade dolls to children after playing a few games.
Here are some iconic shots at Mae La refugee camp by WEAVE’s Photographer, Ta Arthit.
Visit our Gallery to see more Photographs related to WEAVE’s mission to empower displaced women from Burma so they can support their needs, families and communities.