They say that the first step to success is ambition, the second is action. Our first sewing course training can attest to this! After a few months of talking about our training sessions and trying to navigate the starting up of our non-profit, we decided to just start with what we have. Do what we can with where we are at. We have enthusiastic ladies wanting to learn, we have a very talented teacher, and we have a home that we can host it in.
Joana Kabote has been sewing for almost her whole life. She raised her three children by teaching sewing at an art school in Zimbabwe. Prior to the COVID pandemic, she was employed by a local NPO in their sewing centre, however the effects of COVID cost her, and many others, their jobs. One of our directors had been working with Joana over the years with outsourcing sewing requirements, and so she reached out to her and began to build a relationship with Joana in order to see where she could fit into the work we envisioned. After many discussions, Joana agreed to facilitate our sewing training for us.
And so we began with our first sewing course. Our wonderful seamstress Joana, along with our two trainees. Lerato Malatji has worked for one of our directors for years in her home and has expressed her desire to learn to sew many times. Angy Dibarwana is one of the weavers from Mapusha Weaving Co-Operative, and she too expressed her desire to learn to sew. With keen, enthusiastic students ready to jump in, we began!
Lerato and Angy, arrived bright and early at other Angi’s house in Hoedspruit. The air was abuzz with excitement! After we shared a cup of coffee and some rusks together, introduced everyone to each other, we took a step back and let Joana carry on with what she does so well, leaving them to their own space for their time together.
The course ran over three weekends so that they could focus fully on learning new skills. Over the first weekend, they each made themselves a scatter cushion cover, as well as a small bag. Very chuffed with themselves and us beaming with pride over the success of the first weekend, we parted ways for the week, energized and bursting with pride over the work that was done!
The following two weeks flew by as we worked through the planned items used for training. The ladies grew in confidence as well as closer together as they spent time together learning, chatting, sharing. It was beautiful to watch unfold!
Moving forward, the ladies have continued to grow in their skills, and have been meeting on the weekends in their homes, learning more about sewing and practicing under the skillful eye of Joana. We look forward to sharing some of their creations with you over the next few months.