Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announce their newest initiative, The Welcome Project

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Archewell Foundation is launching The Welcome Project in hopes of creating more inclusive communities.

Meghan Markle The Archewell Foundation, The Archewell Foundation Welcome Project, Meghan Markle Welcome Project, Prince Harry Welcome Project, The Kinsey Collection, The Kinsey Foundation, Khalil Kinsey, Black Art,
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speak onstage at Project Healthy Minds' World Mental Health Day Festival 2023. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Project Healthy Minds)

This week, the release of the Archewell Foundation’s annual impact report revealed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry launched a new initiative this year called “The Welcome Project.” Inspired by the Duchess of Sussex’s service work with the U.K.-based Hubb Community Kitchen following the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, the new project supports “women-led programming for recently resettled Afghan women to help build more inclusive and connected communities.” 

With 11 already active Welcome Projects across the nation in states like California, Montana, Texas, Wisconsin, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., the program is already making impactful progress within communities. The foundation’s decision to focus on Afghan women stemmed from the intense social isolation the demographic faced during relocation. To foster a sense of belonging, the Welcome Projects not only offer bonding activities but also access to employment opportunities, educational, entrepreneurial resources, and more. 

“We know that when women are well resourced and empowered to direct their own futures,” said the Archewell Foundation in a statement, per People magazine. “They not only build a better life for themselves but also dramatically improve the lives of those around them, their families, and their communities. In other words, supporting women means supporting communities.” 

Through activities like sewing, art, hiking, swimming, photography, storytelling and cooking, the Archewell Foundation reports bringing together 237 women to date. Of these women, 98.8% describe developing meaningful friendships and feeling as though their culture is both accepted and respected. Similarly, 97.7% noted decreased feelings of loneliness as a result of the social connection. 

Recommended Stories

This is not the first time Markle has worked with the Afghan community. In 2021, she and her husband, Prince Harry, visited a military base where they met with women from displaced families within the community. Similarly, the quality time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent cooking with the women of that community mirrored the time Markle spent working with the Hobb Community Kitchen in 2018

At that time, the community inspired her to write the forward and assist in the publishing of “Together: Our Community Cookbook.” Fast forward five years, and Markle is bringing her work with Afghan women stateside, once again leveraging food as a means to create and unite communities. Beyond individual initiatives, the Welcome Projects hosts “Welcome Dinners” where attendees can connect over a shared meal. 

Never miss a beat: Get our daily stories straight to your inbox with theGrio’s newsletter.