Sewing courses

In July 2013, the Wisdom Academy started vocational training programmes for adults in two different slums. In both slums, women (mothers of students of the schools) requested the Wisdom Academy to organize sewing classes. Great need is felt by these ladies to learn new skills to generate more income and to get opportunities for less heavy work (right now, they are working in construction or as trash pickers).

 

 

Four days a week
The sewing courses take place in huts in the slums, or outside in the open air. The courses are conducted by local female teachers who are experienced in sewing and tailoring. Classes are four days a week (about 2 hours each day) and last for 18 months (until the end of 2014). In the first months, the women get to know the sewing machine and learn the basics of sewing. Next, the classes focus on advanced techniques, on practice and on the first product development (and selling of products). In each slum, 15 to 20 women are participating. The courses are free, the women don’t have to pay a tuition fee.

 

Hand sewing machines
The women use hand sewing machines, purchased by the Wisdom Academy. Hand operated machines are widely used in India: they can be used sitting on the floor, take up little space, work without electricity, and are portable.

 

New Skills, New Opportunities
Upon completing the training programme, the women can do tailoring or sewing work alongside, or instead of their regular work. They could apply for jobs at one of the many tailors or textile factories in Jaipur. In this sector it’s very well possible to work from home. The women could also start their own tailoring business.

 

Project funding
Narangi received a grant from a Dutch foundation that covers two-third of the costs (two sewing courses in two different slums for one year).

 

Helping women earn a better living pays off for everybody

The sewing training program is aimed at women and girls from two different slum communities in the city of Jaipur. Indirectly, also their families, and especially their children, will benefit from the program. Females in slums are much more sincere than males, and they tend to be more responsible for the wellbeing of their families than their husbands. Often, men also spend their income on alcohol, drugs or gambling. That’s why it’s of utmost importance that women earn their own income to provide in the basic needs of their families, and to maybe save some money for the future. Moreover, if a family has enough money to make ends meet, there’s less need to send their children out to work, and these children can go to school.

 

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