The hands behind the Lancaster “Refugee Makers Project”

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LANCASTER, P.A. --- Sewing has always been the trade of choice for Remmy Kasongo, 53.

However, his road to doing it in Lancaster isn't the smoothest path.

Kasongo is from Congo, a country in Africa, but fled to a refugee camp in Zambia when he was around 40 years old.

He and his family, a wife and seven children, would remain in Zambia for a total of 16 years.

Three years ago, he and five of his children were granted refugee status and re-settled in Lancaster.

A year and a half ago, he met Bryan Norris.

A man with a background in apparel meets a life-long tailer, which gave birth to the "Refugee Makers Project.

"We have been working together for over a year and we don't speak a common language. We don't have a translator but we've built all of this together," said Norris.

Together, they make and sell clothing designs using African wax print fabrics in their shop on pearl street.

"He could've ended up where he's very very cold and I often tease him that he's actually very lucky to end up here in this great community," Norris said.

Norris said his goal in starting the business was to help his new friend, Kasongo, get a stable life by using his craft.

In turn, Remmy’s been able to attend more English-language courses, something he couldn't do with his previous job.

Their business is taking a step by step approach to allow Remmy to enjoy the finer things in his new home: hamburgers, church and milk shakes.

For more on the Refugee Makers Project, visit the link here.

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