In Holland, the number of refugees has increased by 25% in 4 years. Makers Unite is the social enterprise behind a professional support programme involving refugees and Dutch creatives aimed at helping migrants find work.
Makers Unite, an initiative born from the refugee crisis
Makers Unite is offering newly arrived refugees in the Netherlands with the opportunity of kickstarting a new life by helping them find work in the society that is hosting them. It all started, in collaboration with the locals, with MU making objects like computer bags from the lifejackets and ribs abandoned by the refugees on the beaches of Greece. The income from the sale of these products was in turn used to help the refugees. In this way, together with the migrants, the inhabitants of the Greek islands and those of other host countries, the MU has developed a circular economy to raise awareness about the current crisis, whilst forming bonds and trying to overcome the prejudices that can plague refugees.
Makers Unite Creative Lab
In 2016, MU launched a development programme for refugees with creative talents, many of whom are artists, photographers and designers… It’s a six-week programme, which enables participants to understand and adapt to the requirements of Holland’s creative industry. In this creative lab each participant is prepared for and supported with finding work in their given remit. Over 130 new arrivals have benefited from the programme, three quarters of whom have since managed to find work.