OUNI joins forces with RYSE to help refugees

The cooperative OUNI, the first organic food store without packaging in Luxembourg, does not stop at offering an ecological alternative to conventional supermarkets. It is also committed to a more societal dimension and contributes, among other things, to the integration of refugees arriving in Luxembourg.

To this effect OUNI has entered into a partnership with RYSE (Reaching Youth Refugees through Support and Empowerment), offering refugees the opportunity to become active members of the cooperative. RYSE aims to support the success and empowerment of young refugees in working life in Luxembourg through a mentoring project that promotes social integration by including them in volunteer activities and assists them in the acquisition and development of personal skills.

As part of this partnership, the OUNI cooperative is looking for sponsors, individuals or companies, to offer a share of the company to refugees (each share has a value of €100). Meanwhile RYSE trains active members to work in the store and keeps track of their situation.

22

Since its opening in December 2016, more than 22 refugees have joined OUNI as active members because of donors whom we warmly thank. For the most part, the time devoted to the cooperative goes beyond two hours per month, which is the minimum duration that every active member is obliged to devote to OUNI.

``Working with us gives refugees psychological comfort, which enables them to be integrated into society, to have goals, to feel useful and to learn the languages spoken in Luxembourg,`` says Rebecca Maroko, co-founder of OUNI and Chair of the Board of Directors. OUNI also provides, upon request, work certificates to refugees who wish to show their commitment and willingness to integrate into their host country for the purpose of obtaining work or refugee status.
``OUNI gives our refugees and asylum seekers the humanity and dignity they have been denied for too long. It is a real bridge to social inclusion, because it also allows Luxembourg residents to be close to a social reality that is often overlooked,” says Francesca Tavanti, founder of RYSE.

Keen to continue this dynamic partnership for as long as possible, OUNI and RYSE appeal to the generosity of (future) donors for refugees and hope to encourage the general public to invest in their initiatives. Rebecca Maroko and Francesca Tavanti say: “We also want to give ideas to companies that would like to help refugees. It is not necessary to have a large structure with large financial means to make concrete and useful gestures that allow these men and women to regain their dignity by being active.”

Offer a share to a refugee

By filling out the form of new coop member and by paying the share with the mention “donation to a refugee”