Every year we create content to help educate the readership of National Geographic Kids Magazine, and their care givers, about refugees. In partnership with the Refugee Week charity, we share stories from young refugees and talk about ways we can help them to build a better future.
Can you imagine what it would be like to leave behind your home, friends, family and everything you’ve ever known to start a whole new life somewhere far away?
That’s the reality for 26.4 million refugees around the world.
The public narrative is still heavily polarised between attitudes around how immigration can pose either a ‘benefit’ or ‘threat’ to culture, economy and society.
When digging deeper, we found that business and economic benefits can be quantified to support the positive public narrative with data suggesting that refugees typically benefit their host nations’ economies within five years of arrival.
According to the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), although most Britons consistently overestimate the number of migrants in the UK, concerns about immigration have fallen to their lowest levels in two decades, however, there is still work to be done to encourage communities and organisations to come together and recognise the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees, supporting their right to feel safe and welcomed.
We take a look at a few brilliant organisations who are working hard to communicate authentically to translate empathy into action to support refugees.
Founded in 2016, Bread Winners are on a mission to improve the wellbeing of refugees and create a community where they can thrive in the UK. Based in London and Brighton, with an online bread delivery service, this grassroots charity employs refugees to sell quality artisan bread at farmers’ markets.
They also provide refugees and young people seeking asylum paid work experience, employment training workshops and access to volunteer mentors.
The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) is a social enterprise enabling refugees to thrive through the power of their own ideas.
With a volunteer community of over 300 industry experts, entrepreneurs and consultants, TERN supports refugee entrepreneurs to explore, start and grow small-to-medium sized businesses.
With TERN research suggesting that up to 80% of refugee businesses focus on making the world a better place, their goal to launch 2,000 refugee-led businesses by 2025 makes this non-profit venture an exciting one to get behind.
They also run Anqa collective…
The marketplace led by refugee founders sells both products and experiences from a new generation of refugee businesses. Each entrepreneur has their own story, but a common theme runs throughout – empowerment.
From investing profits and time to support charitable causes close to their hearts, to using their platform to speak out for refugees, this collective celebrates all cultures, communities, backgrounds, and crafts. Anqa’s moto? Together, we can buy into change.
BEES & REFUGEES
Environmental conservation organisation, Bees & Refugees is working to introduce beekeeping to refugees and local communities in London.
The programme was founded in 2020 by Ali Alzein and offers community beekeeping workshops to generate income as well as school sessions, supporting 80 vulnerable children. Bees & Refugees are helping to foster a sense of belonging in the UK’s refugee communities whilst supporting the UK’s native black bee population to flourish.
The IKEA Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable children by enabling their families to create sustainable livelihoods, and fight and cope with climate change. As part of this, they are committed to helping refugees achieve economic self-reliance and sustainable livelihoods.
IKEA are currently working to support refugees to gain the skills they need to set up small enterprises through development impact bonds and funding new research around economic inclusion with the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford.
IKEA have previously partnered with UNHCR to improve access to sustainable and user-friendly energy supplies. Raising more than $33.4 million for renewable energy sources, IKEA helped UNHCR to make refugee camps safer in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Care4Calais, a volunteer-run charity, provides refugees in the UK, France and Belgium with essential items, assistance with medical and immigration issues and social support.
The charity also work with research and media organisations to help promote inclusive attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers. Raising awareness of this growing humanitarian crisis, they create campaigns aimed at influencing the public’s perception – check out their brilliant ‘The Truth About Refugees’ section hosted on their website.
These are just a handful of the incredible companies who share our values to create a fairer world. Could you use your brand channels for good and help to re-write the narrative around refugees?
Our team at Creature & Co. have years of experience communicating a wide range of complex, challenging and sensitive world issues, nurturing audiences through education and solutions-focused action.
Get in touch to find out how we work with brands to navigate purpose, supporting them to build a more sustainable, equal future, whilst driving brand loyalty with consumers.