FORAI stands for Friends Of Refugees And Immigrants. It’s a ministry my church supports, and it’s run by a sweet woman with whom I have several mutual Campus Crusade for Christ friends. Small world again.
The purpose of FORAI is to provide refugee and immigrant women a way of providing additional income for their families – many of them are single moms. These women made all kinds of jewelry and handicrafts. There isn’t a store front. All of the products are sold online or through home parties and events around town (think, Farmers Markets, Church / Community events, etc.).
For any of you interested in seeing the products available through FORAI, check out the website: https://www.forai.org/ You can shop here or make a donation to the organization.
The artisans are paired with mentors who can come along side them and befriend them as well as give them guidance in their craft.
A couple of weekends ago, I hosted a home party. Several ladies came to shop, and the founder of FORAI was here to talk about the ministry. We also had two artisans present. They shared their stories with us. Both of them are from Burma, and they spent around 15 years in refugee camps in Thailand before being placed in St. Louis. While fleeing Burma, they lived in the forest for approximately six months. Each of them had young children while they were fleeing their country. (I can’t even imagine!) They have been in the US for a number of years now. One of them is nearly finished with her classes to become a citizen. They were precious.
We turned my house into a store for the evening! It was so fun to introduce this organization to several friends and colleagues!