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Empowering Women to Preserve a Piece of their Culture Regardless of the Environment by Developing Self-confident and Economic Independence.

Immigrant women will be given the opportunity to develop their own business at the place of entry regardless of their final destination.

Photo of Emma Viera

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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

Every month One Hundred Angels receive approximately 2000 asylum seeker individuals, they may spend from 6 to 24 hours waiting for transfer to their final destination where they will reunite with their family or host. During the waiting time they receive clothing, over-the-counter medication if needed, time to take a shower and food. One Hundred Angels is proposing to give them the pattern with instructions in how to make hand bags. They will be encouraged to sew the bags and sell them for a profit that they can continue to invest for their benefit and the benefit of their community such as increased socialization and reduce isolation. In addition, the women will receive not only the pattern with the instructions but also a bag already made as an example for them to take to their final destination. In the bag they will find possible venues where they can sell their product once they are established. The bags that they will receive will be created by first generation immigrant women. Women that would like more information about the program will be given the opportunity to sew their own bag before they travel to their final destination. Fabric supplies and sewing machine will be available to those that would like to experience the process.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

The focus population is the asylum seeker population entering the United States via the US Arizona-Mexico border. Since October 2018, the United States has seen an influx in asylum seeker population entering the US. From there individuals are detained and processed, after that, they are released to organizations who will work with the family and/or friends to arrange for transfer of the individuals to their final destination.

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

This project provides the opportunity to the individuals to share a piece of their culture by creating bags that are widely used in their country of origin for daily activities such as going to the market. It brings the folklore of the country and an opportunity for cultural change as well as improving the economy of the area by giving the opportunity to this individual to be economically independent.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

This project is intended to create a support system for newly arrived immigrants. Individuals participating in the program will receive quarterly news updates from other designers across the US. The newsletter will have real stories about best practice and lessons learned as well as it will be a means to share new ideas with other designers of the product. The women will have the opportunity to be connected to resources in their area. Which will expedite the adaptation and assimilation to the new environment and reduce depression. This project aims to provide joy to the developer as well as the recipient by appreciating the unique craft exchange. Each handbag is unique and represent a piece of art. Will also help in understanding better the culture from the country of origin and will reduce misconceptions created by the media and other social outlets. The population in the host community will have the opportunity to ask questions about the product and their country of origin.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

Immigrant women tend to suffer from higher isolation, depression, stress from family separation and other behavioral issues such as attempt suicide. This project attempts to cut the cycle by providing the means to socialization and economic independence. The project will be evaluated based on process and outcomes. We will measure the number of “kits” used by the women from the number of “kits” distributed. In addition, users will be contacted one month after arrival to their final destination and asked to share their story to other individuals. From a social aspect, we will expect the individuals will have the opportunity to integrate faster to a social circle that will become a support system.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

This idea/opportunity is important because when people emigrate from one place to another they often left behind, family and support network that many times it is taken for granted. Going to a new place where individuals don't know the language and the culture becomes in many occasions a cultural shock. We are trying to adapt while trying to survive. In this case they are coming to the US with the promise for a better future. However, sometimes once they cross the border they realized that they lost everything in the way. This project is intended to provide hope and to be a safety-net in case of emergency. In the daily bases we see the need for the safety-net. We also see the lack of hope once they get to the US and they realized that the person that was going to help them decided they will not or can not help anymore. For women this becomes a bigger problem because 99% of the women come with at least one child. They need to adapt to the new environment and support their family.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

Although 99% of the asylum seeker population arriving to the US Arizona-Mexico border comes from Central and South American there is a small percent that comes from Asia and African countries. There are many reasons for the population to arrive here. Some of these reasons include: personal safety- were the person/family has been targeted by gangs and if the individual does not comply with the demands they will be robbed after every paycheck. Others is the lack of jobs and the increased violence in the cities. Others is scaping a domestic violence situation. Although there are many reasons for the individuals/families to take the journey, they are all looking for a better future for them and their family members. Approximately, 95% of the immigrants speak only Spanish, 5% speak a language other than Spanish or English. Some have elementary or middle school, but 100% are hard working dedicated individuals. By the time these individuals traveled from 1-4 months to arrived to the border.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

By the time these individuals arrived to our centers, they had traveled from one to four months. They need time to heal, physically and emotionally, from the journey. This project aims to help in the healing and recovery process. Project participants will be working together and/or learning together to help create the handbags. By doing so, they are developing a community for support system. Because everything these individuals had to overcome in order to arrive to the US, it is belief this population has perseverance and determination. Two main qualities that are essential for the recovery process.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

One Hundred Angels partner with 19 different groups to receive the population requesting asylum. These organizations include: Glendale Mission, El Buen Pastor, Alpha & Omega, SVDP, Desert Cross Lutheran, St. Andrews, City Square, Vino Nuevo, Vineyard, CCV, Redemption Alhambra, Monte Vista, Helping with all my heart, Spirit of Joy, Ktizo, University Presbyterian, Vitalyst Foundation, Red Cross, International Refugee Center. In the future we would like to continue working with the existing partners and also develop collaboration with the Universities, local health centers and other non-profit such as Unlimited Potential for family education. As well as identify at least one organization in each of the states where we send individuals.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

One Hundred Angels

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

One Hundred Angels is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2018. Since then, this organization has focus on improving the physical, mental and spiritual health of the vulnerable populations. With the purpose of creating a humanity in harmony, by means of providing resources that impact their well-being. The mission of the organization is to enter the homes of the most vulnerable communities and experience their needs, to create real and effective solutions that improve their quality of life. Everyday we are inspired by the individuals that come to us in search for a better future. We see the hope in their eyes and the tears of happiness and sadness. In less than one year since the incorporation of One Hundred Angels, we have developed a reputation of integrity, compassion and respect not only among the recipients of services but also among our partners. We are not here to compete but to create the opportunity for a better future.

Website URL:

https://onehundredangels.org/

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

United States

Organization Headquarters: City / State

PHOENIX

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Belle initiative.

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