The RefuSHE story and how they make their scarves

This is the first part in a series describing our partners behind The Refugees’ Pavilion, a project Nairobi Design Week created for the London Design Biennale 2018.

Refugees Pavilion LDB18_ Nekane Ozamiz67
Helping refugee women achieve economic success through entrepreneurship

The RefuSHE story is one of an organisation that provides healing, education, and empowerment for young refugee women and their children living in Nairobi, Kenya. Their award-winning holistic model provides short and long-term support through opportunities for refugee girls to access their human rights, experience economic success and skill development, and become leaders in their own communities.

RefuSHE process by Bobby Neptune7

Through shelter, education, and community outreach services, coupled with local resources and the refugee community, RefuSHE empowers this population to live healthy lives. By providing resources for long-term support, refugee girls and young women become catalysts for strengthening networks creating sustainable change within the local and global communities.

The programme as grown into a key part of RefuSHE’s holistic model. 70% of the 160 artisans who have been a part of the collective are economically independent.

RefuSHE’s social enterprise is a step in the journey toward independence and a new life after war and conflict. Members express themselves creatively while learning tangible skills that lead to self-sufficiency.

The women are constantly learning new making methods and implementing them in new product lines. They use shibori tie-dye techniques to create some beautiful fabrics, which are cut, tied, dyed, dried and sewn into products such as scarves, hair ties and bow ties.

RefuSHE often collaborates with other organisations to create limited edition lines. Their newest collaboration is with Sandstorm Kenya, featuring some heavy duty canvas, which was turned into tote bags at the Sandstorm Kenya factory in Karen.

RefuSHE x Sandstorm Kenya

RefuSHE worked closely with us and supported the Refugees’ Pavilion for the London Design Biennale, where they displayed products including their iconic Nadia Tangerine, as well as a new line of cushions.

100% of sales from RefuSHE products go back into supporting the women and girls in Nairobi.


If you’d like us to post information about your project or event, please contact us and we’ll see how best to share it with our community.

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