Iskashitaa Refugee Sewing and Crafts Circle

What is the Iskashitaa Refugee Sewing and Crafts Circle (IRSCC)?

The sewing and crafts circle is a program designed to empower refugees. Refugees are provided supplies and economic incentives to continue their traditional crafts. Refugees use skills such as sewing, weaving, and crocheting to create products that are sold during community events and at local stores. Seventy percent of the profit made from selling refugee-made products goes directly back to the refugee crafter. The remaining percentage is used to ensure that our programs are running smoothly and effectively.

Why is the Iskashitaa Refugee Sewing and Crafts Circle (IRSCC) Important?

IRSCC provides refugees with opportunities to learn the marketing of salable items and to share their culture through festivals and events. Refugees have the opportunity to interact with Tucson locals and to experience how Tucson society differs from that of their homeland. These interactions help build up their self-confidence, which leads to English language learning and the understanding of cultural differences. Through experiencing and learning in our culture, refugees take one step closer to being self sufficient and independent.

Who is Involved?

Iskashitaa crafters and volunteers with the craft program are from all walks of life. Refugee crafters are from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Volunteers with the craft program are from all age, socioeconomic, and political backgrounds.

Who teaches our classes?

Our volunteers, interns, and refugees teach our classes but we are always looking for more help!  Do you know how to sew, quilt, bead, crochet, or knit?  Do you have patience and a few regular hours a week to teach?  Don't worry!  We will organize the class and bring the supplies.  You just bring the knowledge!  You will never find more eager and loving students than in an Iskashitaa classroom!  Please contact us right away to get your class started!

Where do we get supplies?

Donations come from many individuals and organizations who share our passion of giving back and helping refugees in Tucson.  Contact us to find out how to donate.

In order to maintain quality food based programming, Iskashitaa has temporarily suspended sewing and craft lessons.  Refugee crafters are still working to create beautiful products from their native knowledge.  Please contact us or join us at a festival to purchase Refugee Crafts.

Marketing and Fundraising

Iskashitaa sells a variety of craft products made from recycled and donated products by refugees with the help of local Tucson volunteers. We also sell products made from locally harvested fruit and vegetables. Our products are available in our catalog, by mail order, or by visiting Iskashitaa at a festival.

The marketing and selling of products helps Iskashitaa and refugees in many ways:

Teaching skills: When marketing and selling products, refugees have an opportunity to practice English and learn important business skills.

Creating Revenue: 70% of income from refugee made crafts is returned to the refugee immediately.

Informing the public: When selling our products, Iskashitaa is able to spread the word about recycling, local foods, and refugees.

Helping Iskashitaa: 30% of income from refugee made crafts is used by Iskashitaa to continue supporting refugees and programs for refugees.

Sponsored By

Partially sponsored by:
Tucson Pima Arts Council