SPOKANE, Wash. - The thread that binds Tulia Nyota and her 17-year-old daughter Bija is strong. The two love to sew together. It’s a family passion and a trade that Tulia learned long ago in her home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
However, sewing was put on hold when civil war broke out and Tulia and her husband were forced to flee. They ran from country to country and had several life and death encounters, eventually landing in South Africa. Tulia and Bija say life wasn’t easy for refugees there. They were robbed and had their lives threatened. After 14 years, the United Nations granted the family resettlement to Spokane.
Tulia and Bija love Spokane and say it’s brought them a peace they haven’t had in years. They also say that thanks to World Relief, they’ve been able to return to sewing. World Relief’s WEAVE (Women Empowered to Achieve Vocational Enrichment) program has set Tulia and other refugees up for success.
She’s joined several other refugees in sewing masks. They’ve made thousands and have donated them to people in need in Spokane, including SNAP. The program is a win-win. Refugees learn a trade and people in Spokane benefit from their skill. If you’d like to learn more about the WEAVE program, go here or call (509)484-9829.