Sewing Skills Internship
In July 2022, we introduced a practical sewing internship programme for NEET girls. This Programme is called ‘The Pretty Box Skills programme’ and it operates from our office. We have a fully trained and qualified seamstress who runs workshops 24 hours a week to 6 girls on the 6-month placement.
The seamstress has developed a detailed, quarterly lesson study to monitor the girls’ progress and to ensure that they are effectively understanding and developing. We are currently in month 4 of the project with a 150% attendance rate because every week, girls from different villages keep arriving to join the class and we have to turn them away due to shortages of space and resources. Currently, our waiting list has 8 girls, but this is not reflective of the weekly over capacitated arrivals at the workshop. The 6 girls currently engaged in the programme are showing promising results ranging from making skirts, dresses, and pattern designs. The programme is building their confidence, skills and enhancing creativity. It also has the potential to provide income and provide a gateway to returning to education.
As a result, we have also gone on to register our current participants on the Directorate of Industrial Training exams to gain accreditation so at the end of the course in December 2022, we can support them to obtain a scholarship into further education or support them with a starter sewing kit package.
Through this project, we anticipate for every girl student that 2 more young people will develop the skill on average. For the entire year of 12 students, we expect an average reach of 24 more young people developing the skills. We believe that this project will empower the girls to become more confident and business savvy through our livelihood sessions on literacy and finance and that it will provide employment/income generating opportunities that may encourage them to return/or go into education to further advance their careers. In less than 3 months, our students have already learnt how to make shirts and skirts and their confidence is building every week, creating a trusting environment for the girls to be safe and occupied.
The need for our work is greater than ever. Since the beginning of Covid-19 we have witnessed a drastic decline in people’s livelihoods and morale, and we believe that mobilising communities with these skills will reintegrate them to rebuilding relations and taking on a more collaborative approach towards development more than ever before.
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