Since 2011, an estimated 4.9 million people have fled their homes in Syria to take refuge in other countries. About 656,000 of those refugees are now living in Jordan, where some will find work with an unlikely employer: IKEA. The Swedish home-goods giant is launching a new textiles line that will be crafted in Jordan by Syrian refugees, according to CNN.
The new rugs and textiles, which will hit showrooms in 2019, will provide jobs for about 200 refugees, mostly women. The company is working with local women's organizations to design the project and make sure that the hours are flexible enough that women who need to care for family members can still work.
The company’s nonprofit arm, the IKEA Foundation, has already been working to assist those fleeing conflict in places like Syria and Sudan. Its flat-pack refugee shelter was awarded the London Design Museum’s award for design of the year in 2016. In November 2016, it also teamed up with the Red Cross to build a replica of the real home of a displaced family in Damascus inside one of its Norwegian stores.
The rugs and other goods will be sold in a limited edition in the Middle East, so they may not make it to your neighborhood IKEA.