A stitch in time saves lives: Our work in the DRC, Part 3

February 19, 2018

Sewing machines and stitching lives back together

Claudaline, one of our leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is a qualified tailor.

She saw that many women had missed the chance to go to school and were, therefore, only able to take the lowest paying and most menial of jobs. If they wanted to improve the lives of themselves and their families, they needed to learn a skill that made them of higher value in the workplace.

Claudaline’s tailoring course is a six month course which teaches the women and girls everything they need to know to become tailors and seamstresses. Her youngest student was aged just 13 years.

The tailoring lessons are taught at two centres. This is because, when the lessons were all held at one place, Claudaline realised that some women were travelling quite large distances just to attend. To make things easier and safer for them, she opened up a second centre. This means double the upkeep on the buildings, and two teachers who need paying, but it is worth it to see the joy on the women’s faces when they graduate.

If the women had access to their own sewing machines, they could set up business for themselves but, for most of them, owning a machine is a pipe dream. However, the skills they have learned on the course do enable them to look for work in tailoring businesses.

In the future, we hope to:

  • Build up the tailoring school so we can help more women and girls learn a trade
  • Pay the teachers a good salary, in keeping with their worth
  • Buy sewing machines, both for the school and to help the women start their own businesses

If you’d like to help the women learn tailoring skills and set up their own businesses, please get in touch!

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