reclaim your power to act
how can you
There are many ways to support The Off Ramp and its mission. Of course, you can donate funds, but there are also opportunities to donate your time, skills, and other resources that will make just as strong an impact. Read on to learn more about the projects we are involved in and the plans we are making!
"Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens.
You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God."
Leviticus 19:34 (Common English Bible)
amani sasa: building careers
Amani Sasa is an organization that works for the safety, wholeness, and empowerment of refugees in Uganda. With few to no safety nets in Ugandan society, the pandemic of COVID-19 dramatically impacted this vulnerable population. As Amani Sasa transitions from crisis mode to equipping and empowering, we are joining them in a project that will help eight Ugandan women build careers.
We will come together to provide training in basket weaving. Each participant successfully completing the course will be given a grant to help them start their own business. During their time of learning each woman will receive mentoring, on-site meals and childcare if needed.
donate gently used frames
Pro-Optix Eye Care is now partnering with The Off Ramp to supply frames and lenses to those who are displaced and in need of glasses.
Who is Displaced? A displaced person is anyone who felt they could no longer live safely or securely in their home country and had to leave. They are refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking.
How can you help? Leave your gently used frames at Pro-Optix so we can give them to a displaced person who lives in Houston and needs them.
Snack Packs at the border
Displaced people are vulnerable to falling prey to human traffickers. People who have come to the Texas/Mexico border are at particularly high risk. We invite you, your church, or your community to purchase and make up food packets to be distributed among those who are displaced in that area. Inside each food packet we will place a card with information regarding signs to watch for and ways a trafficker might approach. The national human trafficking hotline is also included. If you are interested in helping with this project and would like a suggested list of snack pack items:
munir's coffee sleeves
We were delivering food baskets to refugees. A volunteer called us; they had met a newly arrived family from Pakistan. The man told them he was a tailor, and that is how we met Munir. Since that time, Munir has worked on a contract basis for Threads by Nomad. He is a skilled tailor. Most recently Munir has entered into a relationship with The Off Ramp. He wants his own tailoring business. He saved up and was able to purchase an industrial sewing machine. He was also able to secure a larger place to live so he can set up his business in an extra room. Now he needs a serger machine. To accomplish this, Munir is making coffee cup sleeves from the scrap fabric we have given him! When you purchase one of these coffee cup sleeves here, all of the proceeds will go into a project fund for the needed machine and other supplies. We love working with Munir. He is a joy to be around and we appreciate his determination to succeed!
UPDATE: We have made a giant leap forward in this project. Munir now has a serger and can move his business forward by doing more professional work. We still have coffee cup sleeves available and moving forward the proceeds from this project will go toward additional supplies and a computer! The sleeves make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers!
vero's loom: a women's cooperative
Vero and her two colleagues have started a cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico. As indigenous women, they are marginalized in both access to education and economic opportunity. Trained in weaving, they purchased a loom on credit in early 2019. The Off Ramp has given them an initial grant to pay off their remaining debt. In collaboration with the Seminario Intercultural Mayense, they will be mentored in business practices, accounting, and partnership building. As they progress, The Off Ramp will help them procure additions to the loom and supplies to expand their offerings. The Off Ramp has connected them with buyers and merchants such as Threads by Nomad so they can be mentored in product development and marketing.
Refugee Children's access to education
The Off Ramp provides a Ready for School program for preschool children in an apartment complex that is home to refugee families from around the world. Additionally, backpacks with school supplies are collected and shared with refugee resettlement agencies and other local apartment complexes. Finally, gently used optical frames are collected in order to provide optometry exams and glasses.
iman's jewelry: a new dream
Iman is a gynecologist by education and profession. However, she was unable to practice after being resettled in the United States. She now works part-time in a childcare facility. Iman has always loved to make jewelry and now has a desire to start her own business. The Off Ramp has connected Iman with a mentor who is helping her get her business license and another who is helping her determine how and where to secure her raw materials. We are also mentoring her in product design and business practices. The Off Ramp will help Iman secure her raw materials and offer her an opportunity to showcase her creations at various events and online.
kin and care: access to education
Kin and Care employs refugee women in the Washington, D.C. area. The small business's goal is to hire more women and offer more opportunities for them to thrive. To that end, The Off Ramp is providing consultation support and a grant to procure the raw materials for a new product line. A refugee from Iran will be taught product development and will teach/mentor others.
refuge and hope:
product development in Uganda
Refuge and Hope International in Kampala, Uganda helps refugees and displaced people rebuild their lives. One of the ways they are accomplishing this is through a sewing program. The Off Ramp is coming alongside them to help develop product, implement quality control, and develop marketing strategies.