Dawit, whose homeland is Ethiopia, was brought against his will to The Netherlands before he reached adulthood. For the last six years he has been waiting for his papers. He has been actively involved in community at Huiskamer and Refubikes and recently become a Dad, yet still faces uncertainty without legal stability in either Ethiopia or The Netherlands. He is an accomplished poet, film-maker and is now studying an application programming course at the Eindhoven University of Technology.
After leading the first Social Innovation Lab in UK government, Emma’s experiences as a volunteer in the Calais “jungle” compelled her to quit and go independent as Founder of humanitarian enterprise humanKINDER. Emma has previously attended DDW as an expert in social innovation, invited by John Thackera to present The Dementia Diaries and BrainCell Boogie at the World Design Forum; facilitated workshops to support Leon Cruickshank, Professor of Design and Creative Exchange Research at Lancaster University and co-hosted The Welcome Tent as part of the VREEMDLAND at Huiskamer DDW 2017.
Meeting Muka this year, the Founder of MukaCariza - an exclusive, handmade bag brand “where Europe meets Africa” - was an incredibly moving and special moment for both Dawit and Emma because it validated their approach.
Muka had been invited to share the story of her business at the Dutch Design Week Storytelling Sessions at Huiskamer, yet spontaneously she shared the story of her life for the first time in public. As a child, Muka and her sister were falsely adopted from their homeland in Rwanda by the Catholic Church - even though her Father was still alive - and taken to Belgium. Over the next few years they experienced horrendous abuse from which they eventually managed to escape and live on the streets, while continuing to go to school. As yet Muka has never been able to return to her homeland: for those that have made the return trip they have discovered that all evidence of this modern-day-slavery has been destroyed.