Zing's Story

Zing's Story

This week is UNHCR’s World Refugee Day.  Forai’s mission is to foster dignity, help women refugees' stories be heard and empower them economically with income earned from their work.

Living in Danger

I couldn’t live. Born as an ethnic and religious minority in a country that has been in conflict for more than 70 years, Zing was forced to carry supplies as a child for the Burmese military. Villagers were beaten and kicked if they walked too slowly. One day, Zing’s younger sister became ill, and Zing could not join the group in carrying the military’s supplies. Terrified that the soldiers would find her and beat her or demand a bribe, she fled to the city where her uncle lived.

There, Zing met and married her husband. Eventually, they decided it was safe and returned to Zing’s village, but the soldiers had not forgotten her. They were still looking for Zing. Forced to flee again, she and her husband joined a group escaping to Malaysia. Hidden in the trunk of a car, they were driven to the border between Thailand and Malaysia.

Once there, they were forced to walk all night barefoot, where their feet were pierced with sticks and forest debris. At last, they began a new shadow life working, hiding from the authorities, and waiting to receive asylum as refugees. Six years later, they received their UNHCR card and embarked on a new journey across the world to St. Louis, Missouri.

Forai's Circle of Hope

Each year Forai walks alongside 8-12 refugee and immigrant women on the artisan/artisan-admin team and 20-30 women who take part in community sewing classes. Forai works to foster dignity and help these women’s stories be heard. We help empower them economically with income earned from their work. And Forai creates community, a space where women from different backgrounds and cultures are mutually giving and receiving.

Supplies and tools are essential for onboarding a new refugee or immigrant woman to the Forai artisan team.

Like a sewing circle, Circle of Hope monthly givers come together to empower women with all the tools and materials they need to begin earning a fair wage as Forai artisans.

It costs $1,500 to onboard, equip, and train ONE artisan.  For a monthly donation of at least $15, you can join a community of people committed to setting up a NEW Forai refugee artisan for success.

By joining the Circle of Hope with a monthly donation of $15 or more, you are extending hope to more vulnerable women!

Join Forai's Circle of Hope




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