January 18, 2010
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King
Tucked away in the basement of All Saints’ Cathedral in the Cairo suburb of Zamelek is the Tukul Crafts workshop, a self-sustaining branch of Refuge-Egypt.
In Sudanese culture, the tukul, or “small hut”, is the focal point of life, as well as a workshop to create hand crafts. In Cairo, Tukul Crafts has provided a livelihood for Sudanese refugees for more than 20 years. The Tukul craftsmen specialize in original silk-screen patterns reflecting traditional African designs. The cramped workshop has walls lined with bright, freshly printed textiles. Their finished products are exported as far away as Hong Kong and Denmark but are also sold in bazaars and shops in Cairo.
Lawrence, a young Sudanese refugee, has worked at Tukul for two years. After seeking asylum in Egypt, he took a job as a welder before coming to Tukul. He was willing to accept a serious reduction in monthly income in exchange for a five-day work week, vacation time and time for daily prayers. He says the job offers him a sense of dignity in a culture that seems to celebrate mundane, unskilled labour. The seven regular employees earn a decent wage. Tukul Crafts is looking to expand its clientele, especially its overseas market.
Their products can be viewed at www.tukulcrafts.org Refuge-Egypt has a partner relationship with the Anglican Church of Canada through The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF). Donations to PWRDF help support the work of Tukul Crafts.
Sudanese refugees also have another place to call home. Anglican dioceses across Canada are involved in a life-changing ministry by sponsoring refugees from Sudan and other parts of the world. Refugee sponsorship is receiving a higher profile this year as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of PWRDF.
PWRDF’s 50 Refugee Families Sponsorship Project encourages dioceses and parishes to help sponsor a minimum of 50 refugee families who will be able to make a new home with a fresh start in Canada. This initiative helps Anglicans respond to the biblical call to “welcome the stranger.” To date there are 27 confirmed sponsorships: the paperwork has been signed and the families have either arrived or are being processed to arrive soon. They come from Sudan, Colombia, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Eritrea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Find out more about refugee sponsorship at http://www.pwrdf50.org/refugee-sponsorship.
PWRDF thrives on developing partnerships Ã¢â‚¬” whether that involves Refuge-Egypt and its work with Sudanese refugees or Canadian parishes and dioceses in their refugee sponsorship work.
PWRDF cannot exist without the prayers and financial support of Anglicans across Canada. Your donation will significantly change your life and the lives of others. It will help support PWRDF’s commitment to Refuge-Egypt and to the global refugee resettlement initiative. Your donation will have a direct impact upon the lives of entire refugee families as they begin a new life with a strong sense of hope, health and security. Your donation will forever change the way you view partnership and global justice.
Pray. Act. Give.
Gifts can be mailed to PWRDF, 80 Hayden Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 3G2.