70% of refugee and migrant women are victims of violence in camps or in transit.3 A time when they are most vulnerable, since their precarious status often prevents them from denouncing the violence they suffer. After discovering the social enterprise Bread and Roses which trains refugee women in floristry in the UK, Marie Reverchon, an NGO and communications professional, was inspired to launch the same initiative in France, creating a safe space for women asylum seekers to learn the art of floristry.
Since its pilot program in 2017, 59 women have benefitted from the professional skill-building workshops of du Pain & des Roses, and the bouquets created are sold in restaurants and to businesses. Participants in the workshops are involved at all levels of the business: from photography, to sales, to project management, in order to facilitate their professional integration. The goal: to empower women through confidence and connections with others and to support them in finding jobs where they feel valued.
“Lina was one of the most discreet women in the workshops. For the first 3 weeks, she didn’t say a word. However, in the 4th week, she spontaneously began helping her neighbor create a bouquet. She began interacting and asking her new friend to take a picture of her and the flowers. Later, in another workshop, she asked me if she could deliver her bouquet to our partner restaurant and if her skills back home as a seller could be used and valued at du Pain & des Roses.”
“My everyday motivation comes from brief moments. All of these small moments, put together, show women transforming from the ‘victim’ status associated with asylum seekers. They rediscover their strength and confidence and begin looking towards the future.” Marie Reverchon, founder of du Pain & des Roses