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Nhill’s Karen community opens Paw Po Products

SUCCESS: Members of Nhill’s Karen community, from left, Moo Khu, Htoo Boh and May Than celebrate the opening of Paw Po Products. Picture: JESS KELLER

SUCCESS: Members of Nhill’s Karen community, from left, Moo Khu, Htoo Boh and May Than celebrate the opening of Paw Po Products. Picture: JESS KELLER

The Nhill community has celebrated the culmination of two years of work at the opening of a new Karen-driven craft shop in the town on Thursday.
About 50 people attended the official opening of Paw Po Products Training Centre and Retail Store in Victoria Street.
Nhill Learning Centre executive director and Paw Po project manager Annette Creek said the opening was a great success.
“The project started about two years ago and the ladies have been designing, creating and testing products in the lead-up to the opening. This is the culmination of all their hard work,” she said.
The project was part of a funded ‘job ready’ program run at Nhill Learning Centre. A group of Karen women completed a basic sewing skills course before creating a community enterprise called Paw Po Products.
Mrs Creek said products comprised a unique blend of contemporary design with traditional loom-woven Karen fabric.
“The store is also a workshop, so the ladies have a place to make their products,” she said. “It also allows them to interact with the community through the retail side. They are learning English, so the shop helps them to use the language in a real setting.”
The Karen women involved in the project have come from Thailand border refugee camps to make their home at Nhill.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad shared the story of Paw Po Products in Federal Parliament before the opening.
“It is a great example of firstly, another shop opening in a country town. Secondly, it is encouraging a community to interact and integrate, thirdly, it shows the rest of Australia you can integrate refugees into country towns and it can be a real success,” he said.
“If you’re driving through Nhill, stop, have a feed, buy some of this great craft and celebrate the diversity of our regional and small country towns.”
The Federal Government provided $10,000 for the Paw Po shop through the National Stronger Communities Program.
People can search Paw Po Products on Facebook for more information.

The entire October 26, 2016 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=36168

Posted on Oct 26 2016

Posted by on Oct 26 2016. Filed under Business & Finance, Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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