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RefugeeMade: Made in Arizona

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 12:01pm
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 1:30pm

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Rachel Bechdolt, Leonie Mukabutera and Marie Claire Kamikaze
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
Rachel Bechdolt (from left), Women’s Empowerment Program coordinator for Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, refugee Leonie Mukabutera and Marie Claire Kamikaze.

The Show highlights the creative builders, makers and designers that are sharing their talents with Arizonans in the Made in Arizona series.

Much of what we hear about refugees today focuses on policies. How many refugees will be taken in? How many more are waiting for their day in court?

But, for those refugees who have fled their home countries and settled here in the United States, the road is far from easy.

For many refugees here in the Valley, that’s where Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest comes in. The nonprofit offers a variety of classes in Phoenix designed to help women refugees, in particular, build skills for their new lives here. 

And that’s what brought The Show to their regular sewing class recently. Rachel Bechdolt is the coordinator for the the Women’s Empowerment Program at Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest.

The program also runs RefugeeMade, an Etsy shop that features products made by the women.

Refugee sewing
Lauren Gilger/KJZZ
Basira Delery, a refugee from Afghanistan, cuts fabric.

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