by Lindsey Klyn, marketing manager for MH4H
Ten Haitian women made the first class of alumni for Sewing Hope when they graduated from the program on November 24, 2013. These women started the class three months ago with little to no knowledge of how to sew. With some instruction, time, and practice, the women now know how to make plenty of items suitable for sale in the local area. Over the past three months, they also learned how to maintain their machine and how to purchase supplies like fabric and threads. To further their education, the women learned basic business skills regarding marketing, banking, and bookkeeping, as well as some cooking and jewelry making skills.
Above: Some of the projects the women made over the past three months.
However, the most important thing these women received over the past three months was biblical based training. Sewing Hope exists as a means to introduce women to God to create complete life transformation. Sewing Hope believes that through sewing, the cycle of oppression of Haitian women can be broken.
Here’s what some of the ladies had to say about their time in the program:
Left: Evenie Osetin; Right: Marceline Brillant
“People should continue supporting the program because we need more machines, more fabric, and more ladies to come. Without support, this program can’t continue.” – Evenie Osetin
“Through Sewing Hope, I learned the importance of loving one another in the Bible training Ebens did for us. If I know how to sew, I would like other ladies to come to this program to learn how to sew and make money also.” – Marceline Brillant
Left: Clepenise Delaurier; Right: Ifenie Dameus
“Because of Sewing Hope, I now know how to sew, cook, and live the way God wants us to live.” – Clepenise Delaurier
“By sewing, I will make money to help my family and my community. All the time, we have more ladies who want to learn how to sew. When more ladies know how to sew, their living situation can change too.” – Ifenie Dameus
Left: Eclide Fucien; Right: Oselene Dorvil
“I like everything that I learned to make in Sewing Hope! I want more people to learn how to sew so their situation can change.” – Eclide Fucien
“Because of Sewing Hope, we can now make money to pay for school, buy food, and survive. If God puts it in the hearts of people to support this program, that would be nice because more ladies really need the support.” – Oselene Dorvil
Left to right above: Chimene Jean, Velina Servil, Bernadet Saint-Vil; Left to right below: Mirlande Augustin, Sewing Hope Instructor Jacqueline Fidele
The graduates are now eligible to be employed to make recycled diapers for MH4H’s Bundled Bottoms program. As another option, the women can sign a micro-loan agreement, which requires them to repay approximately 20% of the value of a treadle sewing machine. With this, they have access to the sewing center to run their own small business. Through this process, Sewing Hope offers empowerment to the community of Haitian women and optimism for a better tomorrow. MH4H anticipates the next group of 10 women starting this process of life change in January 2014.
Above: The women learned to make diapers for MH4H’s Bundled Bottoms. Click here to learn how you can help with this new program!
If you’d like to see more pictures from the graduation ceremony, click here.