Coming from war-torn and poverty-stricken homelands, female refugees resettling in the United States often face significant obstacles to employment—from language and cultural barriers to securing transportation and childcare. Worn for Peace eliminates many of these barriers for these women by commissioning them to create and sell hand-knit products from their homes. Help Worn for Peace continue to employ more refugee women with this Grassroots campaign: for $30, you get $50 worth of hand-knit products from Worn for Peace’s online store.
Worn for Peace, a business of Catholic Charities Fort Worth does more than supplement the incomes of these women—it also helps adjust to their resettlement. Catholic Charities Fort Worth uses 100% of the net profits from Worn for Peace sales to provide English as a Second Language courses, financial-literacy classes, and other community-development programming. In 2012, Worn for Peace partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington to study the impact of working for Worn and attending their classes. The women who participated reported a significant reduction in feelings of anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and depression, among other symptoms.
There are currently 41 refugee women who hand-knit all of Worn for Peace's products, which allows them to supplement their household incomes while preserving cultural traditions such as family meals. The women are paid for their work whether or not it is sold, and every item they create can help improve their quality of life in significant ways. For example, one item can translate into a month’s worth of diapers (approximately $30); 24 items can mean one month’s worth of rent (approximately $520). And with increased sales, Worn for Peace can offer employment opportunities for more refugee women already on its waiting list.