God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble!” (Psalm 46:1)

Did you ever consider how America gives refuge to people of every language, tribe, and nation?

POBLO’s sewing center idea came out of a desire to lift up refugee women, giving them dignity! Our non-profit organization started as a sewing center to bring the community together. POBLO Sewing Centers started in 2013 as part of our International Friendship Centers located in many states.

The centers are a simple means of empowering refugee and immigrant women, artisans in need of a way to develop their skills through the help of volunteers. These amazing sewing teachers who teach and polish sewing skills come from different churches. Yes, they teach, but they also build bridges of friendship and hospitality as they welcome, accept, love, and include refugee women in their circle of sewers. These very talented American women serve as instructors at many different sewing centers across America.

Just recently, a Christian woman created some really meaningful work for the refugee and immigrant women in Dearborn, Michigan. This instructor designed a special blanket for some of her family members and friends who are going through chemotherapy.

At our Dearborn sewing center, personalized blankets are now being made with great love and care by these Middle Eastern women. Because of cultural sensitivities and language barriers, these Middle Eastern women are not able, at this time, to join the traditional workforce in America.

But our sewing center, which is part of our non-profit organization the International Friendship Center at Atonement Lutheran Church, provides a wonderful opportunity for these women to work in a safe and culturally relevant environment.

Our IFC sewing center has carved out a unique way of reviving the art of embroidery, needlework, quilting, applique, and sewing. The class and its practical projects provide these women with a creative way to preserve their artistic Middle Eastern heritage, while using Western ways and machinery, thus creating real opportunities for artisans to preserve their age-old art.

All our POBLO sewing centers across the U.S. greatly impact the lives of a diverse group of women who have chosen to make America their new home. If you would like to join a sewing center near you or start your own, please contact Cynthia Khan at POBLO.

-Cynthia Khan, Director of Community Engagement