UK and USA jewellery community comes together for refugees

I'm delighted to once again be one of more than 100 jewellers from the UK and USA to donate work to a special Facebook auction in aid of refugees around the world.

The Auction for Aid gets underway on Monday, 18 September, and runs until Sunday, 24 September. It follows a similar auction held last year, which raised almost £25,000 for the global refugee cause.

Proceeds from this year’s auction will go to two organisations – Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to preventing loss of life to refugees in distress at sea, and UK based NGO, Help Refugees.

Jorinda pink tourmaline ring

Spearheading the auction is my lovely jeweller friend,  Ghazal Ghahri-Saremi, of Soremi Jewellery.

She remembers being deeply affected by the tragic images of the little Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, whose body was found washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015,” said Ghazal. Whilst it was too late to help Alan, she wanted to try and do something positive for the organisations at the frontline of this global crisis and that’s how the auction came together.

She asked a few jeweller friends if they would be interested in donating and it quickly became clear that she wasn’t alone in how she felt about the terrible injustice of the refugee crisis. News spread very quickly within our community and jewellers began sending her emails asking how to get involved. Everyone donating pieces to the auction is trying to use their skills in an effort to effect positive change, so we really hope the public will get behind us.

Half of the funds raised this year would go to Help Refugees’ Baytna Centre in Northern Greece. The centre, run by Help Refugees’ partners, the Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI), provides life-changing psychosocial support and primary school education for 0-6 year old refugee children. The remaining 50-per-cent of the auction proceeds will go to MOAS, currently assisting the persecuted Rohingya people in Myanmar.

In addition to a Jorinda ring and several Jorunn horse pieces of jewellery by myself, the auction – hosted on the Auction For Aid Facebook page – will feature the most drool worthy donations from the most amazing jewellers such as Polly Wales, Margery Hirschey, Melissa Joy Manning and Jo Hayes Ward.  Jewellery for all budgets will be available.

All of us who took part in last year’s auction were thrilled to see so much raised, but we know we can do even better this year. With a fresh crisis developing in Myanmar and ongoing humanitarian tragedies around the world, we must do all we can to maintain awareness of the plight of refugees and continue to contribute as much as possible to the organisations working to help them.