How we treat the uprooted will change the future of our world - Melissa Flemming
Refuge started in 2013 when two Texas girls were inspired by the stories of refugees that they worked along with. Listening to the heartbreaking stories of those who had fled home, living behind everything they owned, Andrea and Lexi, the founders of Refuge, decided that education is the key to provide stability in the wake of disaster. “Education knows no borders or boundaries - it’s that moment when a child smiles because they understood times tables or when a graduate receives their college diploma rather than join the labor force”. With this key message in mind and after extensive research, Refuge as part of the entrepreneurship program, Startup Aggieland by Texas A&M University - worked hard towards creating a socially responsible company that supports child refugee education with their hand-stamped bracelets. A percentage of every purchase is donated and through UNICEF increases the access and availability of education for children placed in refugee camps.
On average, refugees spend 17 years in exile, which is ironically adequate time to receive a high school diploma. Without an education, people will not have the skills to provide for themselves, create educated leaders, nor develop solutions. Currently, only 2% of humanitarian aid goes toward education because funds are usually prioritized for the basic relief needs of food, water and shelter. Refuge hopes to bring a change to that environment and understood that there was a need to empower boys and girls alike to change that world. “We hope that by providing education, we can provide a refuge, a safe haven, for these children to grow and become whatever and whoever they wish to be”. Refuge believes that education is truly the most sustainable solution to help ensure bright futures.
Having had the opportunity to be part of the A&M entrepreneurship program, Andrea and Lexi, see Refuge creating a business that would provide jobs to refugees who have made it to the U.S. as well as launching more products over the next five years. They are currently aiming to work with an organization that works with a specific refugee camp in which they can visit and develop education programs to focus on that specific area. “We want to create relationships with the families we help and share their stories with the ultimate goal of helping develop educational programs and educating as many child refugees as possible, impacting and educating refugees locally and globally”.
With this ultimate goal in mind, BOB will be working alongside with Refuge on a beautiful collaboration. Coupled with the like-minded passions, inspired both of these amazing organizations to collaborate and create some fun and exciting bangles for #ResponsibleFashion. Having invested so much time, effort and heart into Refuge and BOB, there is always something empowering to give back what we have been so blessed with in our own lives.
BOB + Refuge have released 30 limited edition #BooksOverBombs copper bangles that have been delicately hand-stamped by the team at Refuge. Together the profits will go towards the education of Syrian refugee children living in refugee camps in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Together we hope to raise enough not only to pay for school fees, but also uniforms, stationery and school books. Check them out below!
“Education is our passion and we hope to bring refuge through education to as many child refugees as possible” - Refuge
If you feel just as driven to empower yourself and help these children, please check out their website - http://www.wearrefuge.com to learn more about who they are and their remarkable work they are doing!
"Hi, I'm Rev, 24 years old and a Master's student at Murdoch University, Western Australia. My hobbies include writing and baking of all sorts! Education has always played an important role in my life and B.O.B works towards that same goal of raising awareness and funds for the education of children in refugee camps. You get to work alongside selfless people that share the same perspective.