We have several students who are ready, or almost ready, to make and sell products (some are doing this already). They have learned so much, including how to use the industrial sewing machines (we have 6) and fabric cutters. The big question is “how do they get started?”. A lot of the time the women aren’t ready to set out entirely on their own. There are two key goals that we are currently working toward to help us all succeed.
First is the development of a workshop space. The workshop is currently under construction. We spoke with the women about their personal goals and interests, to find what they want to make. We will be producing sports uniforms, and work uniforms for local teams and businesses.
The second is still in the planning stages, but we are developing a child-care program, so that women working or taking classes can bring their children and know that they are safe and well-cared for. In the future, we will hire a qualified Pre-K teacher who will be able to be there for the children to guide them, teach them, and love them.
Our goal for the workshop is that it will be a safe and healthy place to work, without any of the usual characteristics of a clothing factory. It will be a place where the women can come to continue their work and their personal growth.