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.
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We would like to improve our shop premises in Kathmandu, Nepal and the money would allow us to do this. Women who have attended our sewing and literacy course work in the shop and it enables them to earn a living and provide for their families. There are lots of charities on the website, but our name is next to this photo.
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.
Tomorrow Renee, one of our trustees, flies to Kathmandu, Nepal and will be there for just over a month seeing people and managing the work of Women Without Roofs on the ground.
Circumstances permitting, she hopes to visit each of the ladies we support and check that they own each of the key items that they need to achieve a basic but satisfactory standard of living – see the previous article on this home page for the list. She will be helping them choose and buy the items that they are missing.
Renee also plans to spend time at the Cyrene project finding out how the women that have completed the sewing course are getting on with using their newly learnt skills. We also have some ideas of items they could make for us to sell here in the UK that she will share with them.
We wish her a safe and rewarding trip, both for her and the ladies she sees. We will, when possible, post updates on this website about what she gets up to!