Year of the Rohingya
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Here at VTC, our Associates come from all over the world. Many have asked why we do not incorporate their rich cultural talents – such as embroidery - into our products. Simply put, we have not been able to develop products using their cultural skill sets that allow us to adhere to our value of fair U.S. wages while also creating affordable products for customers.
Still wanting to share their cultural richness with you, we are taking a different approach. To honor and bring awareness to the various people groups we have in our VTC family, we will devote an entire year to one of the cultures of our Associates. Throughout the year, we will honor their culture through our designs and bring awareness to the injustices that have been done to their people. 2022 is the Year of the Rohingya. Join us as we explore their story.
Who are the Rohingya?
The Rohingya are currently the most marginalized people group in the world. They are an ethnic and religious minority native to Burma (now Myanmar). Over time, the government stripped them of their citizenship as well as the right to education, work, and owning land. This left them vulnerable to attacks and because of this, the Rohingya are targets of an ongoing genocide.
The Rohingya carry rich traditions of craftsmanship that tell their story through woodworking, embroidery and the use of vibrant colors. Many of their historical artifacts have been destroyed during the genocide, and without a written language of their own, the Rohingya story is told through art projects created to preserve their history and culture.
Rohingya and VTC
Our two Rohingya Associates, Satara and Shomjida, fled from Burma and have resettled in America. Many members of their family are still in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Because the Rohingya do not have a written language, most aren’t able to meet our minimum requirements for our training program. We don't want the lack of written language to exclude them from this opportunity, so we will continue to reserve space for the Rohingya in our program. Our partnership with International Literacy and Development (ILAD) allows our Rohingya Associates to learn English through a process designed for their specific needs.
The Rohingya Journey in our Spring Collection
The Rohingya Journey in our Summer Collection
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