Syrian refugee starts business in Wilton to support family
A Syrian refugee is thanking a local community for helping her start a business to support her family.
Manal, who did not give News 12 her last name for confidentiality and security reasons, says she is deeply motivated by the chance to give her five children a better life in the United States.
The 34-year-old refugee arrived in Connecticut with her five kids in March and says the community immediately welcomed them.
She says she's thankful for the support the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee and other residents have given her.
Manal was given the opportunity to come to the United States nearly two years after she walked with her children for 13 days from Syria to a refugee camp in Jordan.
Since being in Wilton, she started a pillow-making business called Manal's Dream, named after her dream to see her children succeed here.
Those who know her say they're touched, especially Janice Hapke, who taught Manal how to sew.
"What she left in Syria, she didn't want her children to have to grow up in that environment. So, this was her dream, to give them a better life," Hapke says.
Manal's pillows are available at the Signature Style gift shop in Wilton.
She says it may be possible her products will be available through the online marketplace Etsy in the future.