OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Tarin/Senegal - entrepreneurship in the fashion industry for income generation, inclusion and social innovation

Professionalize Senegalese migrants to work in fashion, generating income and social innovation.

Photo of Aline Bueno
1 5

Written by

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

Today one of the biggest social problems facing the world is the growing number of migrant and refugee people. In Brazil we have more than 700 thousand people who are in this situation. In Rio Grande do Sul (state in the south of the country) there are 1800 Senegalese who are residing in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre (capital of the state). Considering this reality, the University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley (Unisinos University), in partnership with the government, as well as mobilizing teachers and students from various undergraduate courses, has been acting on society to change reality. The proposal presented here is to build a creative and collaborative work between Senegalese and students and teachers of the fashion course, aiming beyond the proposition of an intercultural collection called Tarin / Senegal also the professionalization of Senegalese. Many Senegalese bring the tradition of making their own clothes. Taking advantage of this skill, quite handmade, to develop them commercially, it is proposed to teach techniques of ideation, creation, modeling and marketing in the field of fashion. The idea is to produce, in the partnership between Brazilians and Senegalese, the training of both Senegalese who need to provide their livelihood and of Brazilian fashion students who learn the artisanal techniques brought by Senegalese, as well as develop empathy for the other. With the developed learning is imagined to contribute for the support of the Senegalese community that lives in Porto Alegre and to promote inclusion and social justice. This project is part of a Humanitarian Care Program developed by Unisinos, in partnership with UNHCR and Sérgio Vieira de Melo Chair. The name of the Tarin Program is inspired by a Venezuelan bird that is characterized by its migratory flows.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Developed in southern Brazil, in the city of Porto Alegre, where there are about 1,800 Senegalese.

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)

Human bridges are built by tightening ties between different cultures that mix with migratory processes. The bridge is based on diversity, as it increases the exchange of knowledge and practices, as well as stimulating interactions between different cultures. This contact and learning to learn together is expected to contribute to a culture of peace and respect for differences.

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

The proposal is intended to contribute to personal and professional achievement in 360º. For non-nationals: enjoy the academic environment, qualifying their oral and written communication, conviviality and camaraderie; awaken creativity and talent to undertake innovative and collaborative businesses that represent decent work, belonging to the local community. For nationals in the academic community (students, teachers, staff, service providers ...): experience diversity through living with people of African culture, fostering partnerships and learning. In addition to enabling decent work and connecting with their own talents, especially for migrants.

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

The impact of the idea is to make Senegalese visible by demystifying the fallacies about subtracting employment opportunities from nationals. The academic experience to non-nationals aims to generate opportunities for strengthening and redirecting fashion enterprises, generating new opportunities within this chain, such as fashion photography, catwalk models, new products, ... developing the talents of participants.

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

The inspiration behind the idea was the identification of Senegalese talent in developing fashion products. We realized that if they approached techniques used in Brazil, they could expand their businesses, increasing their incomes and providing decent work for migrants.

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

The group, made up mainly of young men, has been arriving since 2015 in the municipality, with the objective of working to send resources to the family that stayed in Senegal. They are protagonists in the community network that is the Porto Alegre Senegalese Association (ADSPOA). The Association conducts cultural, religious activities, seeking social inclusion and representation in civil society, but demonstrates difficulties with the Portuguese language, income generation and employability. Another drawback is racism, a situation experienced by several members of the Senegalese community in Porto Alegre, unknown until then. Its intense religious and community cohesion allows it despite its difficulties and iniquities to follow its purpose with great faith, musicality and an incredible color palette.

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

The strengths are: the community cohesion of the Senegalese, the talent to work with fashion products and the academic knowledge of the Unisinos fashion course.

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

Porto Alegre Senegalese Association and other undergraduate courses at Unisinos.

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

  • Product: A new or enhanced physical product 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

Tarin - Program for Education and Humanitarian Attention to Migrants and Refugees

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

TARIN is a Program for Education and Humanitarian Attention to Migrants and Refugees who are in Brazil, more specifically, in the Unisinos region. It is a program because it embraces and promotes various curricular or extracurricular training initiatives and research on the subject. In view of this, Tarin is open for proposals aimed at two-way training, ie students from Unisinos and the community. Tarin's main objective is to promote humanitarian reception through teaching, research and extension activities with migrant and refugee groups in Rio Grande do Sul, with a view to their human development and their social, economic and cultural integration, regarding the training of Unisinos teachers and students themselves. Therefore, it is a program of actions through which human and professional formation intensifies and complexifies itself.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a formal part of a University or Research Institution

Organization Headquarters: Country


Organization Headquarters: City / State

Porto Alegre / Rio Grande do Sul

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh

Hi Aline great to have your idea on the platform for the challenge. It's exciting and I really like your idea. As the ideas phase comes to an end today the 17th of August, we would encourage you to again have a look at the evaluation criteria here

Also, it will be exciting for your to check out other ideas on the platform, provide some feedback and explore potential areas of collaboration with them. For example check out the Migration Lab Program