Refugee and immigrant women have the highest unemployment rate in the country*. Language barriers and cultural differences create a challenge for women to discover how to apply their skills to create work opportunities. At RAI we help the women utilize and improve their skills that they have already developed in their home country and in many cases receive their first pay check in the US. We help connect the women's artisan skills with job opportunities to contribute to their family and community.
Units Produced : 120,000 and living wages for artisans
Upcycled: 5,000 lbs from
Donated: 3,000 fleece hats & warmers and 10,000 masks
HOW WE DO IT
We partner with Seattle non-profits (Refugee Women Alliance and Children Homes Society of Washington) to recruit refugee and immigrant women looking to work from home with sewing skills. We then work with each individual artisan through our training model to determine the best path
for them in order to foster an inclusive, prosperous transition to the US.
01 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
We train refugee and immigrant women in sewing and jewelry-making along with provide them with materials and access to equipment. When our artisans gain proficiency in these skills, we help them get their own business license and provide paid work projects they can do from home. This is the beginning of their journey to self-sufficiency.
02 ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Artisans who want to pursue further growth opportunities, successfully complete their work assignments, and demonstrate leadership continue their path towards entrepreneurship. This development program allows them to expand the supply and variety of employment choices along with begin to build their skills to own microbusinesses and help pursue their dreams!
Refugee Artisan Initiative endeavors to build a collaborative and engaged community that provides both inclusive resources and opportunities to our artisans, such as language skills, financial courses, and tax education, but also offers opportunities to give back to our local community, such as community engagement programs, volunteer opportunities, and workshops.
RAI is focused on eliminating waste from landfills and utilizing upcycled materials to help preserve the environment. We work with different companies and volunteers to achieve this initiative along with educating artisans the importance of sustainability.
Quote from artisan Rahel:
RAI creates work and income and changes my life. I am happy to stay.