Today’s “What Can One Person Do?” post will introduce you to Lara Jonata, a mum who wanted to use her creative skills to say “Welcome!” using the medium of tshirts. Be sure to visit her on Facebook !
Here, Lara explains how she got involved in creating Welcome tshirts for the general public.
“My Welcome Tee is a project by my kids and me.
We make t shirts to promote the message that asylum seekers and refugees are welcome. It began when I wanted to wear the message, but there weren’t any shirts that were right, so I figured I’d make some, for my kids and myself. My friend encouraged me to make it into a facebook page, so others were encouraged to make their own. Turns out, people generally aren’t so crafty but they do want tshirts.
Also, the children have unique perspectives and they came up with their own themes like “football without borders” and “refugees welcome in my treehouse”. The tshirts are hand printed, often with applique or artwork by the kids.
We give them to refugee advocates who are working hard to enact change, and we also sell them to raise money for people in detention on Manus and Nauru. All profit is donated in the form of phone credit so our friends in limbo can keep in contact with family and the outside world. Although it’s only small, we figure it’s a way that we can show our support for those in desperate need, trapped in a tragic situation.
People buy our shirts to wear them to protests or public events, and more generally to raise awareness and start conversations about refugees. If they can change one mind, recruit one more advocate for the cause, then it’s working.
Whatever endeavour you put your effort into, it will grow and evolve into its own thing. It doesn’t need to be clear from the start. Stick it on social media and people will support you.
We’d like to thank Lara for sharing her story with us and for her great initiative in welcoming refugees AND raising funds to support asylum seekers.
If you know of an individual or group that would like to be featured in our What Can One Person Do? series, please ask them to get in touch via the Teddy Bears Without Borders Facebook page.
If you would like to contribute to any of Teddy Bears Without Borders current projects, just click here for more information.