Clothing designer Kristina Constantine, who arrived in Charlottesville as a refugee in 2004, is now helping refugee women market their traditional crafts. “I know that they are going to do well, it’s just a matter of time and it’s exciting for me to be part of that process,” Constantine told the C-Ville Weekly in a recent article.
IRC’s Economic Empowerment Coordinator Daniella De Franco coordinates the project with grant support from Women United in Philanthropy. De Franco notes that as the project unfolds, “hidden talents are constantly uncovered. An elderly Bhutanese woman paints textiles with markers, and project staff is making the effort to help her transfer her art to washable fabrics. Another Bhutanese woman never attended school until enrolling in English classes as an adult here in Charlottesville. She is now learning to read and pledges to be the co-op’s #1 salesperson.”
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