Our inaugural collection is dedicated to child refugees in Africa. Everyday, across Africa, children from war-ravaged countries journey across perilous borders to escape violence and extreme hardship. These are the child refugees of Africa. Their strength, courage, dignity and hopefulness are all central themes of our collection.
A UNICEF report from 2016 points out that in Africa “nearly one in three migrants is a child – nearly twice the global average – and three in five refugees are children”. A 2016 New York Times article titled "The Child Migrants of Africa" details the struggle of child refugees fleeing Africa for Italy. The article finds that: “In 2015, from January to May, some 3,000 children made the passage [from Africa to Italy] alone. In the same period this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, there have been 7,009 such children, an increase of 129 percent. Of the 7,567 minors who have arrived in Italy so far this year, a staggering 93 percent of them traveled alone.” The head of one of the refugee Programs in Africa Ms. Clacherty of the suitcase project points out that refugee children aren’t looking for sympathy…”As I have worked with these stories I have been struck by the sadness, the loss, the displacement that the children have experienced, but also overwhelmingly by their resilience”.
In making their difficult journeys, they are proud and simply want what most people want: To live a more peaceful and prosperous life. But they also almost uniformly all want to make a positive impact on the world. We salute these amazing young souls in this themed collection by celebrating their strength, courage, dignity and hope for change.