Refugees Bring Handmade Creations to Houston Market

Houston Chronicle | David Kapla

In her former life with the Karen tribe in Myanmar, Moo Htoo farmed along a mountainside and made scarves in the native style. But "too many troubles" forced her and her family to leave, with soldiers threatening to burn down their village. Htoo spent 17 years in a Thai refugee camp, where she had no chance to work or travel, before she and her husband and children arrived in Houston a year ago. Their apartment in southwest Houston is a far cry from the mountains of her homeland, but Htoo said through a translator that she cherishes her freedoms here.

And a local nonprofit project, Community Cloth, is helping put some of her native skills to use. The group provides seed money to Htoo and 34 other female refugees to market their handmade scarves, hats, table runners, clothing, jewelry and baskets.

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