Artisan Profile - Vung

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Vung grew up in Chin State, Myanmar (Burma). Her family, an ethnic and religious minority, was barred from getting good jobs and the men were often conscripted into forced labor by the military. Because of this, Vung's family was very poor and had little to eat. After she got married, Vung's husband fled to Malaysia to look for work. When he finally sent for her, she started a perilous journey that meant she would never see her homeland again. After a week of walking to Burma's capital, Rangoon, Vung got on a small, rickety boat to Thailand. When the terrifying ride was over, she had to hike 4 days through the jungle to reach Malaysia.After years of dodging police raids in their poor neighborhood in Malaysia, Vung and her husband were finally accepted for refugee resettlement in the U.S. and traveled the 36 hours to St. Louis. Vung misses her family and only gets to talk to them once a month, but she doesn't wish to go back. She has big dreams for her children in the U.S. She feels safe and happy as she has found a purpose with Forai, where we have been training her in sewing since early 2018. Vung loves sewing and is excited to learn to make clothes and contribute financially to her family.