Last year, a team from e3 Partners instituted "The e3 Sewing Project" in the Western District of Nyabihu.
While this team was working with local pastors within this community, their wives would typically stay home cooking, cleaning, or just visiting with each other, expecting their husbands to provide for their family. This situation would put stress on these men and create tension between spouses because the men were not able to solely provide for their families. Because poverty is typically a cycle, these women did not have the education or skills to do anything else to help earn funds to meet their family needs. Recognizing this situation, the team helped establish this sewing project in order to help these wives earn a living for their families, empowering them to change their situation and futures for themselves and their children. Now these pastors are able to feel confident as they go out to work, knowing that their wives are also working together to help support their families.
Within this first class at this new Sewing School, there were 12 students and 1 teacher. For six months, class went from 8 am-1 pm Monday through Friday. They started out with the basics in learning how to use the machines and practicing their sewing, to becoming more refined and learning how to sew dresses, shirts, and skirts. These are the products that they will eventually be able to take to the market and sell.
On a recent trip to Rwanda, Terri was able to visit and see the current Sewing School in action. She states, "I remember that 11 families are now able to support themselves. Anna (one of the women learning at the sewing school) told me that within the representative homes, there is much more day to day peace amongst family members and spouses because basic needs are being met. I will never forget the enthusiasm and pride of Iledphonse's wife as she jumped in to demonstrate what she had learned."
The first class of students graduated in March 2012. Because of the success of this project, we are extending our reach out into the entire community, as a way to help other poverty stricken families.
Join us in providing a simple sewing machine to help train up and empower women in a community so they can give their family and children a future, one stitch at a time.