The latest intake of students has started on the sewing and literacy course we run. 30 women spend three months learning useful skills and this time they are being joined by four Pakistani refugees. We hope they all do very well.
The latest class attending the Cyrene sewing and literacy class has just graduated. They attended a graduation ceremony and were presented with certificates marking their achievement.
The course was funded by Women Without Roofs and helps the women attending it to establish their own micro-sewing businesses from home.
Whilst in Kathmandu Renee & Terry also had the opportunity to visit the Cyrene Sewing project that we support.
Visiting the Cyrene sewing project is a delight and a joy. On the whole, the ladies are quite young, very enthusiastic and quick to learn. The teacher has excellent sewing skills. The ladies learn how to measure, cut out and sew material pieces to make every day Nepali dress called “Khurtas”. This is basically long pants (fairly baggy) with a dress over the top (slits up the side) and a shawl. The colours are gloriously rich. Like most Nepali ways, all this is done on the floor – except of course, for the sewing machine itself.
The ladies attend for several weeks and at the end of the course they receive a certificate at a ceremony (Nepalis love celebrations) after which they will hopefully be able to find work as a tailor either working for themselves or others. Cyrene also run an advanced course for those wishing to learn more.
Before the sessions start in the mornings there is a brief meeting, when the ladies sing short Christian songs and maybe share something of their lives. This is followed by a session on general life skills – many Nepali girls have not had the opportunity to have education so reading and writing is offered. Family planning is also discussed.
The ladies certainly leave Cyrene with a vision and a hope, not to mention a life skill that will benefit themselves and their families. We are grateful to our Nepali contacts who run this project so faithfully and we continue to help from here in England in every possible way.