Mikono - The Refugee Craft Shop is an innovative model that promotes the economic inclusion of refugees in global value chains. Firstly, JRS identifies refugees with artisanal skills. Secondly, it helps refugees create strong artisan groups. Thirdly, and most importantly it connects these groups with fair trade buyers around the world. Mikono is the Global Compact on Refugees brought to life.
As of 2020, Kenya was hosting a total of 498,422 refugees and asylum seekers. Given the fluid nature of the refugee situation in Nairobi, accurate statistics of the refugee population are more difficult to obtain but it is estimated that 56% of the refugee population facing systemic barriers to accessing work, including restrictions to work rights, the reluctance of Kenyan employers to hire displaced people.
The Mikono Project (TMP) enables refugee craft artisans to enhance production, sell their goods, and maintain a steady income to promote self-reliance. Through TMP, refugee artisans-starting with urban refugees in Nairobi and hopefully expanding to Kakuma refugee camp-will increase the sales market from a limited geographic area to more affluent and populated markets.
TMP proposes a new model of financial independence for refugees, host communities, and the project itself. As a social enterprise, TMP is run by and for refugees, aiming to create employment, provide quality goods and services nationally and internationally, and invest all profits into growing the livelihoods and education programs. Suppliers of the TMP or refugee artisans are empowered with skills, income, and the dignity that self-reliance brings.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
E-commerce site for Mikono