Partner since: 2021
Refugee origin: DRC & Angola
Refugee location: Zambia

FREE is a non-profit based in Lusaka, Zambia. FREE, which stands for 'Foundation for the Realization of Economic Empowerment', began in 2011 with the mission of using business and trade to lift women out of poverty.

FREE's main product lines are jewelry made from upcycled copper geysers and newly manufactured electrical cables. The artisans that make these pieces are young Zambian women who are trained in metalworking, a craft that few women in the country practice.

Alongside their jewelry ranges, FREE is now working on homeware ranges that incorporate basket weaving and metalwork.

Refugee Artisan Group

A group of 56 Congolese and Angolan refugees, living in Zambia's Mayukwayukwa refugee settlement, work with FREE. Currently, the group is 98% women. These artisans specialize in making coil basketry with copper details from locally sourced bark and grasses.

DR Congo emergency

Learn more about the DR Congo emergency and UNHCR's work in the region.