Holiday Gift Guide: gifts made by, with or in support of refugees

Written by Abigail Sylvester, Refugees Thrive Co-Founder & Board Member

The season of gift giving is upon us. You may love this time of the year and relish thinking of the perfect gift for that particular person. Some may say gift giving is your love language. For others, thinking of the right gift is daunting and overwhelming and may result in a panicked, last minute decision that you may or may not regret (I’m in this second category.) Either way, we at Refugees Thrive compiled a holiday gift guide to help you find special gifts for your loved ones that are created by, with, or in support of refugees. We hope the guide will inspire those of you looking for the perfect gift and alleviate stress for those of you doing last minute shopping. Plus, you and the happy recipient can feel extra good about these gifts having a positive impact on refugees.

Clothing & Accessories

Refugees Thrive T-shirt, sweatshirt or onesie

All items feature stunning original calligraphy by Reagan Maher including the phrase “Refugees Thrive” in 12 languages spoken by refugees in Cairo, Egypt: Fur, Amharic, Oromo, Arabic, Dinka, Nuer, Moro, Zagawa, Tigre, Somali, Tigrinya, and Bilen. All profits from these sales support Refugees Thrive’s mission and fund education, legal, medical and psychosocial services for refugees in Cairo. Join the RTI newsletter first to receive a discount code for free shipping!

Tight Knit Syria scarves, wallets, bags and more

Tight Knit partners with Syrian refugee women who knit and embroider beautiful clothing and accessories by providing an online platform for women to sell their goods.

FORAI (Friends Of Refugees And Immigrants) jewelry and accessories

FORAI is a non-profit founded on fair trade principles that supports refugee and immigrant women as they begin home-based micro-businesses to supplement their incomes through the production of high quality, marketable jewelry and accessories. They have so many lovely items to chose from.


Refugees Thrive pillow, tote bag and poster

These items also feature beautiful calligraphy from 12 different languages spoken by refugees living in Cairo. Sale profits support the Refugees Thrive mission. Don’t forget — join the RTI newsletter first to receive a discount code for free shipping!

Sisterhood Soap — Hand-milled by refugees in Iraq, Sisterhood Soap uses natural, locally sourced ingredients. There are no dyes, scents, or artificial additives.

With each bar of Sisterhood Soap, you support a refugee’s livelihood, rebuild communities decimated by terror, and help our sisters in Iraq imagine a new future.

Global Goods Partners Journal — wrapped in organic cotton and colored using only natural dyes. The journals are handmade by artisans on the Thai-Burmese border and are designed with a subtle striped pattern. Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to the long-term success of their artisan partners by offering training and grants.

Check out these additional enticing refugee-made goods.


Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid — a novel about a love affair and strife from the Syrian Civil War.

What Is the What by Dave Eggers — the story is based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese child refugee who immigrated to the United States under the Lost Boys of Sudan program.

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder — the story of a refugee from Burundi escaping civil war and genocide and arriving in the U.S.

These are just a few possibilities. Check out many more fabulous books!


Listen to the Spotify Refugee Playlist comprised of 20 artists who were all refugees themselves. Pick your favorite or the artist you know your friend will love and purchase the full album as a gift.


Airbnb started a refugee program where hosts can provide temporary shelter to refugees in need. Purchase an Airbnb gift card for your travel — obsessed family member to cheer on socially-minded businesses.


Chobani — Greek yogurt company founder, Hamdi Ulakaya, is a Turkish immigrant and employs hundreds of refugees, started a foundation to help immigrants, and generally advocates on behalf of refugees.

Planning a holiday brunch? Serve Chobani yogurt parfaits. Hosting a holiday party? Make savory Chobani yogurt dip. Baking your favorite holiday treat? Substitute the oil or butter for Chobani yogurt (and eat twice as many cookies since now they are “healthy”).

Beautiful Day Keith’s Originola Granola — made in Providence, Rhode Island by resettled refugees. The non-profit provides hands-on training and employment for refugees and raises awareness around issues of human displacement. Hint: this might pair well with Chobani yogurt.

Coffee Mug — purchase a Refugees Thrive mug for your co-worker that drinks coffee all day every day or your mother who enjoys a strong cup of tea.

Still panicked and can’t find that perfect gift? Shop AmazonSmile and select Refugees Thrive International as your charity of choice, or any charity for that matter. Every penny counts! Or make a donation to Refugees Thrive in your friend’s name and we will send them a thank you post card to post on their fridge. They’ll know you were thinking of them and being generous to others.

What else should we add to our gift guide? Do you know of other fabulous items made by, with, or in support of refugees? What are some other ways that you are shopping consciously this holiday season? Leave us suggestions in the comment section so we can update our guide!

Note: Refugees Thrive International organization and board members do not endorse any of these products or services and have not been paid to promote these items in anyway.

Refugees Thrive International envisions a world in which all refugees are safe and healthy, refugee rights are respected and protected, and refugees are empowered to make their own decisions about their future. Our mission is to raise awareness and fund local organizations in developing countries to ensure refugees have the protection and support they need to thrive.

Learn more about Refugees Thrive International on our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Consider partnering with us by making a donation.