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lessons about the meaning of work from the world's largest refugee camp

I get a lot of emails I wish I had time to open and read. Emails about immigration policy. Emails on fashion trends. Emails with cute dog videos. I subscribe to them because I really am interested in the content they provide, but I rarely get around to reading through them all. 

But when this Forbes headline popped up in my inbox, I closed out every other tab in my browser, put in my airpods, and read every word: "Lessons about the meaning of work from the world's largest refugee camp." If you've opened this email and read this far, I encourage you to click through and give this important article your attention as well.

It speaks to something we have preached at Threads by Nomad since the beginning. Refugee relief (and ending cyclical poverty more generally) demands more than meeting a person's basic needs. It requires seeing their humanity and responding to some of their wants as well. They need opportunities to thrive, not just survive. You've probably heard us say that before, but now data is backing us up.

In a refugee camp on the other side of the world and in our small studio in Houston, a fulfilling job or work opportunity is about so much more than a paycheck. "It gives you a sense of identity, of purpose, of a larger goal. It gives you an opportunity to build a social life.”

We are currently overhauling our websites and in that process asked our friend and jewelry designer Iman for a testimonial. She sent us this: "I used to make hand crafted accessories but, the feeling that nobody is really seeing them had always overwhelmed me, until I met the wonderful Off Ramp And Thread By Nomad team and my dreams started to become true."

It is in this way that we believe the private sector can excel in offering relief to those who need it. We will continue doing our part and our hope is that others will come along with us and do the same.

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