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Oxford, United Kingdom 

Who we are

The Meraki Project was born out of a refusal to remain silent while other people in our world suffer. The conflict in South Sudan has now been raging for years and as the statistics grew, so did our restlessness. We launched our pilot project on November 5th, 2018, where we took a trip to a Ugandan refugee camp to figure out the best way we could partner with locals to empower children impacted by this war.

Through art classes with the kids we got to see the immense amount of talent that lies within them. We quickly realized that arts and crafts were something that they loved and were remarkably good at. Locals started to tell us of how art was an integral part of their culture, but how it was something that they were losing through the war. Things like painting, pottery and weaving used to be popular to the South Sudanese, but their nation is slowly losing those who are capable of doing it.

We took a step back and looked at the resources and people already present within the host communities in the camp. It made us think: we buy things every day. We are constantly spending our money on coffee and clothes, Spotify and Apple. We subscribe and shop. What if we could make products with the kids that keep their culture alive but also gives them a foothold in our global economy of sales? What if we could empower adult South Sudanese refugees? Partner with schools to open doors for workshops?

And so, that’s what we’re doing. That is our heart. To keep their culture alive. To lift up those on the ground already. To leverage our voices to sell their products. To enable a way for children to create a sustainable life for themselves. Right now. Today.

Through mentoring as we all work one on one with kids, they will be able to build solid and stable relationships with those they are around, cultivating an environment for healing. Through making and selling products, we will be able to create a global economy and ensure a local one can flourish.

We see hope, here. We see light in the darkness as children who have fled from war are met with a better future than they ever could have imagined. We see love so powerful it outworks itself through the serving of others; compassion so strong it moves people across borders. We see nightmares replaced with wild, ridiculous, extravagant, groundbreaking dreams. We see kids given the opportunity to shape their own future regardless of the past they have fled from. We see young world changers given the chance to do more than just survive; given the chance to live. We see lives redeemed

We see children who are given a say in where they’re going and who they’re becoming.

We see statistics changed before they ever even have the chance to be written.