Saoirse - Ethnic Hands on Deck is a cooperative formed by mothers - migrant women living in direct provision centres and other local migrants around County Cork, Ireland. We want to showcase our skills in a socially responsible way and we believe in using our skills to help our greater community. We love using our brand to tell meaningful stories. Our mission is to make stylish, high quality products which promote fairness and community benefit.
Prior to setting up the cooperative, many of our members were part of the Sanctuary Mask Initiative. We produced hygiene masks for residents of Direct Provision Centres and other vulnerable community groups in Cork at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. In just 4 weeks, we made 9000 masks in line with HSE, WHO, and ECDC guidelines. 3000 masks were distributed to every child, man and woman in all direct provision centres in Cork (3 masks each) and 6000 masks were donated to vulnerable groups in the community.
Saoirse - Ethnic Hands on Deck emerged out of desire to build upon this experience.
As migrant women, we possess a wide variety of skills, but face great barriers in accessing employment in Ireland. This is why our members have come together in solidarity to create our own opportunities and empower each other.
Saoirse is the Irish word for "freedom". Our name represents hope and aspiration. It is freedom that we are striving for. Our designs reflect this ideal in the joyful meeting of cultures.
With you, our supporters, we endeavor to work towards a more just society for all.
Card making process