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“La Fabrique Nomade”: professional skills and crafts for refugees

In this week’s blogpost, WE-Hope partners would like to focus on an interesting professional initiative creatively working with refugees in France.

“La Fabrique Nomade” - The Nomadic Factory- is an association located in Paris that aims to promote the work of migrant or refugee craftsmen in France. Through a program of professional integration support dedicated to art craftsmen, the association promotes the know-how and creativity of professionals, migrants and inhabitants of the Île-de-France region. It welcomes artisans from a wide range of fields: dressmakers, carpenters, violin makers, cabinetmakers, ceramists, staffers and jewellers. The association was created in 2016, on the initiative of Ines Mesmar, who discovered one the past of her embroiderer immigrant mother.

The objective is twofold: on the one hand to support refugee or migrant artisans, for whom the change of country often results in the loss of their profession and the orientation towards trades under tension requiring little qualification, and on the other hand, to preserve the know-how and support the French craft production that suffers from a lack of transmission and know-how more and more.

The central issue is the recognition of the professional skills of craftsmen. To this end, the association offers nine months of training to motivated refugees with know-how and significant experience in arts and crafts, culminating in a certification "Entering the professional arts and crafts sector". This training allows the artisans to remove the barriers that oppose the exercise of their profession. These barriers are the socio-linguistic ones, the lack of a network in France, the lack of knowledge of the economic and cultural context or the difficulty to have their know-how recognized.

The association has grown considerably, opening a workshop dedicated to textile work, with the objective of training 60 people in three years. It also offers services and company workshops, and exhibits and sells a collection produced by the artisans each year.

Learn more about this initiative:


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