Imagine landing in a new country, you stand in an unfamiliar airport with your possessions crammed into your suitcase. People rush around you, speaking a language that is foreign to you. You are filled with contradictory feelings. Sadness for the friends and family you have left behind, excitement and joy to see your loved ones who will take you to your new home. Fear, apprehension and little bit of thrilling excitement about starting a new life in this unknown land.
This was the experience of many of the amazing women we met at SisterWorks last week.
Founded by Luz Restrepo, SisterWorks is a social enterprise that helps women migrants, asylum seekers and refugees become financially independent and settled in Australia. Luz came to Australia from Colombia as a political refugee and from her own experiences built the organisation, with the core mission of empowering women through work.
Our team at Inka totally vibe with that mission. It ties so much into what we believe and value, so we reached out to SisterWorks to see how we could help. And it seems like many of the people we meet, they were trying to untangle the world of social media.
So, last week we spent the day with a group of women in the SisterWorks ‘Entrepreneurs’ program for a Social Media Masterclass who are making and selling a variety of goods from jewellery to toys and home wares. We discussed brand, audience, content, hashtags, the whole shebang.
But real talk, what we shared with them was nothing compared to what they shared with us. All of them came with such excitement and openness and they made us feel like family from the moment we walked into the room. We heard stories about their home countries of Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, Chile, Rwanda and their experiences of coming to Australia and building a life here with their families.
What was our number one take-away? We learnt that each woman’s journey is truly her own, nobody can do it for her and she has to empower herself to learn and grow. However, it is our responsibility as a society to support her with the resources and connections she needs to thrive. When she has her community behind her, there’s no stopping her.
Check out the SisterWorks website for all of the incredible work they are doing and to meet some of these great women: https://sisterworks.org.au/
Interested in purchasing some of these women’s art? Check out the links to some of their Instagrams below.