We are deighted to announce that the Cyrene course now has a tailoring shop. Graduates of the sewing and literacy course that we run will work in the shop giving them an opportunity to earn an income, build their confidence and learn about retail.
Whilst in Kathmandu Renee & Terry also had the opportunity to visit the Cyrene Sewing project that we support.
A class at the Cyrene Project
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.
One of the women that the Cyrene course has trained
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.
We are growing all the time and take on the support of new women frequently. This is the moving story of the latest woman we have taken on:
She has three children aged 15,13 and 10. They are originally from Rolpa. They came to Kathmandu 7 years ago. Her husband went to Malaysia for work and after a few months he was sick and was supposed to return to Nepal. But he did not come back and was not in Malaysia. She asked her husband’s friend where he was and they told her that he had already come back to Nepal. But he has not arrived. So she has lost her husband, since then she has done household work to survive. She has to work at 4 houses. At one house, they lost their 10 tola (tola is a Nepali measurment) gold worth Rs 250,000 (approx £2000). It was blamed on her. They beat her and took her to the police station. She said she did not take the gold. The policeman also did not get any proof. Then the other 3 houses also did not give her work, so nowadays she does not have work. She has been unable to pay her rent too. She is a Christian.
Please help us to support women in these dreadful situations either by making a one-off donation or, even better, by sponsoring one of them for £10 per month. Please see the ‘Contact Us’ page for how to do this. Thank you.
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!