Social Enterprise Makes Pledge to UNHCR as Evacuation Flights Halt for Afghans
Sitti Social Enterprise pledges a portion of box profits to supporting UNHCR amidst the growing displacement crisis and need for humanitarian support.
TORONTO, ON. (September 14, 2021) - As governments put a halt to flights out of Afghanistan, millions of Afghan civilians are left to rely on the assistance of an already strained humanitarian support system. Amidst calls for action, Canadian-based Sitti Social Enterprise or “Sitti” has partnered with UNHCR Canada to contribute a portion of profits from their newly-launched subscription box to the UN Refugee Agency in support of their work on the ground providing lifesaving care and protection to displaced Afghan families in need. Sitti’s upcoming quarterly box features refugee-led brands and their products, while elevating the stories of the people behind each brand. The subscription model was adapted by Sitti to bolster sustainable income-generation for talented refugee artisans in Jordan, where the social enterprise currently provides long-term employment for 31 refugee women and men.
As the Sitti team was curating products for its quarterly box under the theme of refugee-led brands, A humanitarian crisis of incredible proportions unfolded and grew in magnitude and complexity in Afghanistan. International forces withdrew and the Taliban took control. In an August 30th press release, UNHCR High Commissioner, Filippo Grandi, made an urgent call to the international community in advance of the last airlifts out of Afghanistan. “But when the airlift and the media frenzy are over, the overwhelming majority of Afghans, some 39 million, will remain inside Afghanistan. They need us – governments, humanitarians, ordinary citizens – to stay with them and stay the course.” As a small, yet committed organization to the global refugee community, Sitti reached out to UNHCR Canada to make an even greater impact with the new subscription box. Sitti founder and CEO, Noora Sharrab, who served on the UNHCR Canada fundraising advisory board, said, “UNHCR Canada has been a key partner in our capacity to reach refugee communities globally. As a social enterprise focused on supporting refugee self-reliance, we know how important UNHCR’s programs are for both emergent and long-term capacity building for marginalized refugee communities. At this time, it is our duty to provide support to our global refugee family.” Sitti announced they will contribute $5 from each of their refugee-themed subscription boxes to UNHCR’s continued work for displaced Afghans.
Past Sitti contributions towards UNHCR include a $6,000 joint contribution in partnership with Audi Middle East as part of their #AudiTogether campaign during the early rise in COVID-19 cases globally. Director of Community Impact and Partnerships for UNHCR Canada, Valerie Agawin said of the earlier campaign contribution, “Joint support efforts from Sitti Social Enterprise and Audi MENA had been instrumental in UNHCR’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in MENA. In Jordan alone, the distribution of a one-off emergency cash assistance to approximately 18,000 vulnerable refugee families living in urban areas has begun to help them cope with the economic impact of coronavirus.”
Each subscription box encapsulates a unique theme and purpose, while featuring a variety of premium products from the Sitti line. The upcoming box will include nine refugee-focused brands and their products, as well as Sitti’s premium saffron olive oil soap bar, made with sustainably-sourced saffron from Herat Province, an area of the country that the Taliban swept through back in July. The goal of Sitti’s subscription service is to create a model that provides further sustainable and long term employment opportunities for the refugee community, while opening up opportunities for new job growth in the coming year. Just 4 annual subscribers equate to up to a month’s wages for a refugee individual and their family. Their goal is to sell 2000 annual subscriptions, which will provide long term employment and income generation for the entire team of 31 refugee individuals, including their families (200+ people) for an additional year. Each quarterly box is $150 per box, or $400 for an annual subscription and can be purchased here. All Sitti products are 100% vegan, ethically sourced, no animal testing, biodegradable, paraben free, phthalate free, dye free and alcohol free.
“Sitti” [Si'-TEE], which means “my grandma” in Arabic, is a social enterprise, a certified women’s business enterprise (WBE) and purpose driven brand committed to the self-reliance of refugee and displaced communities providing long-term income-generating opportunities and skill development training empowered by an inclusive global economy.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
For more information or to arrange for an interview with Noora Sharrab, CEO and founder of Sitti, or for high-res photos, please contact:
Jacqueline Sofia, Head of Communications, Sitti Social Enterprise
+1 (860) 919-8500
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