Artists celebrate the ESSN card that has proved lifeline for refugees

Artists celebrate the ESSN card that has proved lifeline for refugees – words Alan Woods

Life can be pretty bleak for refugees. They are in a very vulnerable place often in a strange new country surrounded by people and a culture that might be alien to them.

They often don’t speak the language of the country in which they are seeking refuge.

A new initiative is aiming to bridge that gap and give a valuable lifeline to these vulnerable people. The Emergency Social Safety Net have launched what is basically a pre-paid cash card that enables a refugee to pay for essentials to feed and clothe their families. So, it works pretty much like your own debit card. This is helping people caught up in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis right now.

It’s a joint venture from the European Union (EU) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and their ESSN (Emergency Social Safety Net) Programme. The ESSN card helps refugee families in lots of ways. It empowers the refugee to buy essentials for themselves. This is really important. Rather than having to stand in line and receive handouts they have the power to choose and buy things for themselves. In terms of human dignity this is a valuable asset.

It is an efficient way to get funding to the end user. So, for a refugee family trying to get back on their own feet in a foreign land it is an important step forward.

To celebrate the initiative, they’ve come up with a creative way to publicise the concept. Twelve leading European children’s book illustrators have been picked to produce work that helps highlight the initiative. They have chosen to portray simple everyday human items like toothbrushes, books, teddy bears, small items that means so much to a child refugee. These are the items all children like to have around them to help them feel secure and safe.

You can see some of the work comissioned by Emergency Social Safety Net (ESSN) below and more at

Artists celebrate the ESSN card & ESSN network that has proved lifeline for refugees – words Alan Woods



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