Record sales of refugee craftwork

May 27, 2024 in Featured News, News

Irish Jesuits International » has sold almost €1800 worth of Mikono craft work after five days based in the Irish Jesuit Provincialate’s Arrupe Room, Monday 20 May – Friday 24 May, 2024.

Amanda Bermingham of IJI, who has been keeping shop for the last week says “I am delighted with the sales which have far exceeded my expectations.”

She had a huge variety of arts and crafts items on display all individually handmade by refugees living in urban areas in Kenya. These included wood-carved bowls, cutlery, salad spoons, crosses, cribs, and Madonna and child carvings. There were hand-sewn cushion covers, bags of all sorts and sizes made of stunning multi-patterned fabrics, computer cases, and rucksacks all stitched to the highest standard. Earrings, cards, aprons, tablecloths, placemats, and batik works of African scenes ensured the most colourful display seen in the Arrupe room for a long time. (See photo)

The money generated all goes straight back to the refugees who made them, and Amanda says “It’s a tangible and enjoyable way to demonstrate solidarity with refugees while helping them to earn a much-needed and valuable income.

Lots of people from the works and communities at the Provincialate visited the pop-up shoe throughout the week, according to Amanda. “Even people who were visiting Jesuits in Cherryfield or the Milltown Community dropped in and were delighted with the range of beautiful things they could buy at such reasonable prices,” she said, adding, “Those people who had bought goods from IJI Mikono before came back for more, saying not only what good value it was but also commenting on the high standard of the craft work. Those for whom it was their first time buying were amazed that, for example, they could buy a hand-carved wooden bowl with matching spoon, fork, and scoop for under €20. Those items would have cost at least three times that in any commercial craft shop.”

Amanda closed up shop on Friday at 5 pm but says if anyone is interested in buying any of the cards or items mentioned above they can contact her or Rosaleen by emailing: [email protected] or phoning +353 1 8366509.