Artisanal craft represents a fascinating opportunity for livelihoods generation by displaced individuals. Materials, patterns, carving styles and other techniques are often unique to specific groups and tribes and represent deep cultural affiliations that have been passed through generations, surviving conflicts and disasters.
Engaging in support for artisanal craft is an opportunity to preserve culture, create cohesion and reinstall identity during displacement, where cultural identity can be a target. It can also be a cathartic and therapeutic exercise for those who have experienced trauma. Moreover, craft is particularly suitable for women and other vulnerable persons who may face insurmountable discrimination and harassment when trying to join the formal work sector.
Training has always been the main focus of UNHCR livelihood projects within the craft and artisanal sector. To follow up on efforts made in the past and previous UNHCR projects in craft and artisanal livelihoods, Polly and Other Stories is partnering with UNHCR to help complete the value chain and link producer groups to urban manufacturers for better finishing and value addition to their craft products and to markets at the national, regional and international level to increase sales, livelihoods and enhance lifestyles.
Working to transform the livelihoods of the marginalized and to bring change in the lives of poor producers is at the heart of Polly and Other Stories social innovation ethos. We are excited to be involved in an opportunity that can lead to sustainable and scalable livelihood solutions for the talented people we get to work with!
Check out what we made together at www.pollyandotherstories.com/UNHCR