Liberty Society women 2

Increasing livelihoods for refugees in Indonesia

This World Refugee Day (June 20), IKEA Social Entrepreneurship acknowledges the work of those improving the lives refugees across the world.

IKEA is committed to providing opportunities for the many to gain access to a better life. We believe that all people deserve respect, dignity, and opportunities, and we’re committed to living up to this belief. For many years, we’ve worked with refugees through our skills for employment programme UPPNA, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship programmes ,and charity partnerships through the IKEA Foundation. 

Through our work supporting social entrepreneurs at IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, we support the opening pathways to decent employment and improved livelihoods for refugees, among the many. 
Liberty Society Tamara quote
Tamara Dewi Gondo Soerijo
Tamara Dewi Gondo Soerijo is the founder and CEO of social fashion enterprise, Liberty Society, based in the Serpong District in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Liberty Society is one of ten social enterprises participating in our recently launched Indonesian business accelerator programme, created in partnership with Instellar. 

Tamara and her team are on a mission to empower women refugees and local artisans to improve their situation. 
Indonesia is home to nearly 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom live in limbo. The refugee camp in Kalideres, West Jakarta, is currently overflowing with more than 800 adults and 300 children, most of them from Afghanistan. Many have been waiting over eight years to be resettled.  

Based human rights such as such as access to education, marriage, basic health care, or even legal protection for refugees in Indonesia, as in many countries across the world, are not being met. This puts refugees, especially women, in a vulnerable position. Living off development funds that are barely enough to support their families and sometimes victims to slavery, these women find themselves in a vicious circle of hopelessness and extreme poverty.  

Liberty Society commercialises stylish fashion items to give back hope and dignity to women refugees and artisans facing poverty and violence. 
Liberty Society shopLiberty Society offices
Liberty Society workshop chatLiberty Society workshop
The social enterprise sells high-quality, eco-friendly fashion and accessories produced by refugees, women victims of violence, and disabled communities. Selling to mainly socially driven companies, Tamara aims to inspire wearers with their stylish designs, the stories told about the women who produce them, and the causes supported.  

Every purchase made at Liberty Society contributes to their House of Freedom in the Serpong district. Here, women find a community of support and receive skills training to find decent jobs. They also get assistance to market access for their fashion products. With its training-to-employment model, Liberty Society has educated over eighty refugees since 2019, most of them women. 

All this enables the women to grow their confidence and get their dignity back. As a result, their socioeconomic well-being increases, raising their income and improving the living conditions of their families.  
Liberty Society mom and boy
Liberty Society’s goal is to empower a thousand artisans in ten different regions across Indonesia through training, storytelling, and marketing of their crafts. 

Their participation in the accelerator will support the improvement of their product curation and quality control processes. During the two-year tailor-made programme, they will work to expand their business-to-business market outside Java, where their main operations are currently located.  

IKEA co-workers from the region, together with Instellar experts, will also provide mentorship on marketing and storytelling, and people management with a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  

 

Many hands, one goal

Learn more about Liberty Society and our Indonesian accelerator programme.

Read more about More than Shelters and PEKKA, two more social enterprises working to improve living spaces and encourage secure futures for refugees. These social enterprises are supported by Dela, our global accelerator programme in partnership with Ashoka. 

Read more about our other initiatives, such as our partnership with the Jordan River Foundation to support refugees and increase livelihood opportunities for vulnerable and marginalised groups. 


IKEA family joining hands to support refugees 

With the onset of the Russian war on Ukraine earlier this year different IKEA related entities have together donated €30 million to response to the immense need for emergency relief.  These funds – €10M from Interogo Holding, €10M from the Ingka group and €10M from Inter IKEA Group – have been and will be used for both immediate and long-term needs and include a combination of monetary and in-kind donations to well-established organisations such as Save the Children, UNICEF, UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières, Red Cross and other local organisations working in bordering countries most affected by the war. 

Read more about the ‘Together for all refugees’ campaign which aims to break down biases and misconceptions and demonstrates how businesses like ours can help. IKEA will also be supporting Ingka Group with a goal of raising €20 million for UNHCR to close the funding gap, and support refugee humanitarian emergencies. 

Businesses can make meaningful contributions to local neighbourhoods, and to society, by working toward refugee integration and open pathways to decent work for refugees. Ingka Group have developed a toolkit to share their experience and lessons learned so far. We hope this toolkit inspires other businesses to act too. 

IKEA co-workers design ‘Blue Dot’ safe spaces for refugees with UNHCR and UNICEF.