A handwritten note can make anybody smile! Spread joy with Flora Stationery, not only to your loved ones, but for the women in Kosovo as well. Flora Stationery is a nonprofit business that sells beautiful stationery, journals, and writing accessories to fund scholarships for women in Kosovo.
Sisters, Ashley and Victoria, founded Flora Stationery after Ashley was inspired while studying abroad. She met a young lady who was struggling to pay for college. Ashley was surprised by low cost of tuition in the area and the difficulty women were having paying for an education. She wanted to help provide the tools for women to succeed.
Flora Stationery’s proceeds allow women in Kosovo to enroll at the University of Prishtina. In the past year and a half Flora Stationery has awarded over seventy scholarships. In spring 2016 they provided twenty-six scholarships consisting of both tuition and book fees. The ladies receiving scholarships are also given a bus stipend to allow them to get to and from school.
Statistics shared on the Fund Futures’ page of Flora’s website are stunning. “Kosovo has the highest unemployment rate in all of Europe and holds a female unemployment rate of over 41%. Yet women with a university degree are over 28 times more likely to be employed than those with a basic education. Kosovo is also the poorest country in the region, with approximately 30% of the population living in poverty and another 10% who live in extreme poverty, living off less than one dollar per day.”
Flora Stationery offers more than a scholarship. Ashley and Victoria engage with the Kosovo community. In the spring of 2016, Flora began offering weekly English classes for scholarship recipients, as they wanted young women to be prepared for future careers. Flora Stationery has also collaborated with Idea Partnership of Kosovo to commission a group of women to create handmade pencil bags. The money from purchasing a bag goes directly to the women in the program. These women are able to support their children and families.
Why journals and stationery? Ashley and Victoria liked the idea of sharing stories. Customers are able to document their journey or share kind words with a loved one, while scholarship recipients are able to grow and share their story by furthering their education. Journals and stationery also allow them to feature artwork from women in Kosovo.
Jeta was one of the first graduates from the Flora Stationery scholarship program. She graduated this past spring and will go on to pursue a career in computer science. On the Fund Futures page, visitors can click on images of scholarship recipients to learn their story.
I think Flora Stationery’s mission statement sums up their goals of giving women the tools for success. “Flora Stationery does not rescue women from poverty. Rather, we empower them with an education while enabling the consumer to be a part of this inspiring process of funding futures.”