#PeaceDoves made from refugee blankets fly high on World Peace Day to spread peace messages
Dubai-based humanitarian relief supplier NRS International partners with Empathy Action to promote peace, address the refugee crisis, upcycle production waste and empower women in a skills amplification project
To mark this year’s International Day of Peace – 21 September, NRS International and UK-based NGO Empathy Action officially kick off their #PeaceDoves campaign to give wings to a message of hope, peace and reconciliation, so vital for our world today.
The project, in collaboration with women stitchers from NRS International’s factory in Pakistan, sees the production of 650 handcrafted dove toys made from upcycled offcuts of NRS Relief‘s refugee blankets and tarpaulins.
“Each dove, made from excess blanket material that normally keeps refugees warm, is a symbol of peace and an opportunity to support the UN Business for Peace movement. NRS International is the leading supplier of humanitarian relief items such as fleece blankets to UN agencies and international aid organizations, of which we sold 3.5 million pieces in 2017-2018. As part of our sustainability commitment, upcycling of refugee blankets allows us to spread the message of peace, as well as empower our female workforce in Pakistan,” says Wieke de Vries, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at NRS International.
Small doves, big messages
Speaking about the #PeaceDoves concept, Sandy Glanfield, Innovations Manager at Empathy Action, says: “I designed the doves to nestle in their recipient’s hand, but I hadn’t planned on the broad shoulders they would need to carry so many messages; peace, upcycling, public-private partnerships, empowering women, the power of a gift, refugees and love. The doves carry a reminder that for the 68.5 million displaced people worldwide, a blanket or tarpaulin is basic necessity to survive. The passionate and skillful women who made the doves, add the love into this story.”
All the 650 #PeaceDoves are uniquely embossed with the factory women’s signatures, while conveying their personal messages of peace. You can ‘meet the makers’ and spread their messages of peace at www.nrs-international.com/peacedoves.
Spreading peace to the world
On 19 September, around 150 larger versions of #PeaceDoves were successfully distributed to Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh camps, thanks to the support of Danish Refugee Council.
The cuddly #PeaceDoves brought comfort and potential for imagination and play, despite the harsh realities of the ongoing crisis, and served as a much needed reminder that peace is possible.
Watch the making of #PeaceDoves, in this video:
It’s more than just a dove
The 500 smaller #PeaceDoves will wing their way to NRS International’s clients and stakeholders, as well as to children in UK schools and as Empathy Action ‘Gifts That Give Twice’, such as party favors or wedding gifts.
Through the #PeaceDoves project, NRS International and Empathy Action hope to raise social awareness, ignite empathy and encourage private businesses and individuals to make a difference and contribute to a more peaceful society by spreading our messages of peace.