In many countries around the world, entire people groups are being persecuted because of basic human rights such as; race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. When these people decide to flee their country of origin because of these discriminations they are called refugees. In efforts to ensure safety, these people seek refuge in nearby refugee camps, where conditions are generally not good, until they can be resettled in other parts of the world. Many refugees survive on the hope of resettlement in America. They hear of America with it's access to clean water, food, free schools and believe that a life of freedom awaits them. However, due to things like language barriers, few job opportunities and discrimination, they often continue to struggle and face difficult challenges even upon resettlement.
The Hill Country Tribers are a group out of Austin, TX who work with refugees in the area to provide them with supplemental income and marketable skills in order to help ease some of the troubles of resettlement. When we heard of a like-minded company whose mission is devoted to creating new lives and beautiful handmade accessories, we knew we had to work with them! We utilize Hill Country Tribers' community of artisans to create some of our exclusive designs. Huang Nan is one of the star artisans of Hill Country Tribers that we work with specifically. Huang, her husband and their two children fled Burma just over three years ago and quickly found out how difficult resettlement can be.
Upon meeting Huang, she and her family lived in a tiny apartment and were struggling to make ends meet. Her husband, Steven, had just began work as a custodian at a local church and was having health issues because of malaria. He did not have health insurance and so could not receive treatment but attended work daily despite his condition.
Huang used to be a quiet woman who nodded and smiled a lot, leaving most of the talking to Steven. However, as she has grown in her craft and her time with Hill Country Tribers, she began to talk and laugh. We finally see her settling in with her husband in a good job and the opportunity to help support her family through her talents.