National Sewing Month-Forai

September is National Sewing Month, We partner with many companies making a difference in the world. This week we are proud to feature one of our local partners here in St. Louis, Forai.

Friends of Refugees and Immigrants (FORAI). Jennifer Owens, who is the Executive Director of Forai, got the idea in 2008 when contacted by email to host Refugee and Immigrant families that newly arrived to the United States.

Jennifer hosted two families, one family really touched and inspired her. A single mother who came with her two school aged kids. The mother didn't speak any English, had very little education, and lived in a refugee camp for seventeen years. The Lord inspired and placed in her heart a desire to help. Jennifer had an idea of working with your hands. Forai was established to help local refugee and immigrant women by creating and selling unique handcrafted items.

One of Forai`s artists is Madhavi Pyakurel. Madhavi lived in Nepal before coming to the United States. Most live in refugee camps, where there is very little food, basic necessities, and education. Many immigrants and refugees come for better education and work. Roughly a dozen women work with Forai.

Forai`s Luzmila Buechler, is a mentor and artisan. Forai has a one on one approach providing new women with a mentor. Women who come to St. Louis feel very lonely because they don’t know much English, don’t know the culture and the mentors are there to help them along the way.

Forai is not just a business, but also serves to build relationships. These relationships build a community between these women, and helps them incorporate into a St. Louis community.

Rachel Patrick is also a mentor and artisan for Forai. She says the one on one approach really works with the women. They meet at their house and work together on unique handcrafts. Bringing their style, experience and friendship to the table.

Forai is bringing women together, creating a better life, empowering women, providing a skill, and creating a bonds between these women who are lost when they come to an unknown country. 

Forai has been a partner and friend with Made for Freedom. We have enjoyed their unique handcrafts, these women`s triumphs, and the inspiration they instill in us. That is why we have been so proud and honored to feature them as one of our partners during National Sewing Month.