Refugee Artisan CO-op
St. Louis is currently home to tens of thousands of people who have been resettled as refugees from over 20 countries worldwide. Data has proven that refugees can revitalize declining neighborhoods when empowered to do so. We believe St. Louis needs our friends who have come here as refugees, but we also believe that these people need their neighbors.
When these families are settled in Saint Louis, women often face extreme isolation as their children enroll in school, and husbands work long hours. The Under the Same Tree Refugee Artisan Co-op provides these women a chance to engage in purposeful, community driven activity. Under the Same Tree matches groups of 4 or 5 women from places like Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan with a group of American volunteers. They meet together weekly to create artisan products, and we find opportunities for these products to be sold at craft fairs, farmers markets, churches, etc. This creates an opportunity to earn some small household income, but also to connect socially, practice English language skills, grow in confidence, become more interconnected with the wider Saint Louis community, and to develop marketable skills for future employment.
We are currently seeking women who would like to volunteer with this program!
If you would like to support these artisans, you can donate below or browse their products on our Etsy page.
Meet our artisans
Hadeelah is from Syria and is the mother of three lovely children. As a child she loved attending school, and also participated in football. Currently her favorite pastimes are Zumba & yoga. She spent some time in Egypt before making her way to St.Louis. She enjoys STL and says it's much better for her family. UTST helps her support her family and create lasting bonds with new friends.
Badur is from Iraq and is married with two sons. She attended school until fifth grade and spent her free time cooking. She was forced to leave her home in Iraq due to political turmoil and violence. She says life is much better for their family here in St.Louis. She says UTST has helped give her a community of support, and she loves the friends she's made.
Ghadiaa is from Syria and is the mother to three sweet children. She loves and misses her family from home and is worried her young children will not remember their homeland. She has her high school diploma and played volleyball in school. She went to Egypt then to America; UTST helps her support her family, meet new people, and keep busy while in a new country. Her goals are to keep her family safe, healthy and strong.