For decades, refugees from around northern Africa have fled to Egypt to escape horrors like persecution, rape and genocide, yet they find that life in their new home is still a struggle. Finding safe, fair employment can be almost impossible.

For Sudanese refugees, the situation is particularly dire. 75% of the Sudanese refugee community in Cairo is trying to survive on less than $1 a day. Finding a proper job, with fair conditions and a decent wage, is almost impossible.

Tukul-teatowelAlmost 30 years ago, a small group of displaced Sudanese people in Cairo were battling this same problem, so they started a little workshop to make some means of living.

They began with beadwork and printing t-shirts with simple stencils. After a while, they introduced basket weaving. They named the project “Tukul”, which means “small hut”.

Today an established social enterprise, Tukul produces and exports a large range of beautiful, vibrant products that reflect the style of the refugees’ home nations. Global Handicrafts sells several of the Tukul range, including their gorgeous tea towels, perfect for your Fair Trade kitchen!

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imageThe Sudanese Civil War killed more civilians than any other conflict since World War 2. Two million Sudanese people died – an incredible 20% of the population – from war or the disease and famine it caused.

For those Sudanese who managed to escape the war, home in a new nation turned out to be almost as difficult as what they left behind. Life in Sudan meant torture, forced starvation, landmines, death of loved ones and losing their homes. But life as a refugee in a new country can mean discrimination, violent racial attacks, unemployment and poverty. The tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees that settled in nearby Egypt have found it extremely difficult to get a job, and care for their families. Simply to make enough to eat, they accept work in illegal, unsafe conditions, or with dismally low pay.

Tukul Crafts, in Cairo, Egypt saw this need, and wanted to give refugees the opportunity to use their existing skills to make a fair and sustainable living for themselves. The clothes and household items that Tukul artisans produce are bright and hopeful: a reflection of the hearts of the people who make them. Their screenprinted designs are intentionally rustic and traditional, the colours bold, and the textiles sturdy and strong.

From tea towels to travel bags, from aprons to coin purses, Tukul offers a beautiful range of products that Global Handicrafts is proud and pleased to be able to offer in our online store, and in a fuller range, instore at our shop.

Shop Now!

Browse Global Handicrafts’ full online range here or visit our shop at Crossroads Village to walk through our colourful global marketplace, with even more handmade delights from around the world, all of which care for the people who made them.

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Our food-saving superheroes

Every day, 3,600 tonnes of food waste are sent to landfill in Hong Kong, according to Feeding Hong Kong. Meanwhile, people...

read more ...

Recycling artisans make good news in Sri Lanka

When Sri Lankan artist Sagara Ranga Liyanage decided to start a handicrafts business, he had to think outside the box. "I...

read more ...

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“I don’t want to throw this stuff out. I want it to go to someone who needs it. If only there...

read more ...

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COVID: SAME STORM, DIFFERENT BOATS  “This pandemic has magnified every existing inequality in our society,” Melinda Gates said of Covid-19. She adds:...

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