Birch Box Projects
The day after the American election of 2016, I officially decided it's time to do better. I think we can benefit by responding to this as a call to action.
What's the big idea?
We've converted a shipping container into a pop-up barbershop/braid bar and retail space for festivals. The outside of the Birch Box is covered in a mural that represents the story of a refugee travelling from a situation of distress to representation of a person finding asylum in Canada . When the doors open to the shop guests will enter into a clean shop aesthetic lined with birch branches, thus the name Birch Box (more on this later.) We'll have 4 chairs for services, with shelving and display for products near the wider entry point.
During off times we will switch out the furnishings and host creative workshops inside like spoon carving, ceramics, and bookbinding. For workshops we'll switch out the furniture to tables and shelves
All the stylists doing services will be volunteer and the makers will donate a percentage of their profits to the cause. For the workshops, we'll be paying the educators an hourly rate with the rest of the funds going to our cause.
Who are we helping?
This is the start of a social project to benefit new refuges. IRCOM (Immigrant Refuge Community Organization of Manitoba) is an awesome organization that provides a diverse range of assistance for both refuges and immigrants including housing and education. We are going to be focusing our donations on their underfunded child care program to create a music program.
IRCOM realized they needed a childcare program when they noticed that many of the adults that were parents weren't attending their ELA classes because they had no one to look after their children. At first they told them just to bring their kids and they'd figure it out. They then started a childcare program that the parents can drop their kids off at directly across the hall from their ELA class. This is a great way to give kids a head start and prepare them for school in a new country. We are raising money to fund a music program for them.
Music and movement are universal and a great way to unite people from all backgrounds. The children will be learning culturally relevant music based on their backgrounds as well as Canadian classics.