Sewing with perspective – A&R sewing schools in Tanzania: Neema Village
A&R Textil is supporting two sewing schools in Arusha/ Tanzania. Thanks to them, women in need there have the opportunity to create a means of existence for themselves and their small families.
Neema Village is primarily an orphanage led by a very dedicated American couple. In addition to accommodation of orphan children, Neema Village has made it their task to support single mothers. Women in need receive sewing lessons and thus have the opportunity to earn money with sewing as seamstresses, and to make a living in this way.
Besides sewing, the sewing school offers the women a place to meet like-minded people and exchange views. For instance, twice a week they have a fixed date which they look forward to and which also offers them a perspective for their further life. A life that is often hard for women in Tanzania – single, with one or several children, without work and without income, and the dwelling place is often a one-room mud hut or a corrugated-iron shack.
Activities are cheerful and turbulent in the sewing school. Everyone talks and laughs. Some women have brought along their children. The chai tea is always ready, and at midday there is a hot meal for everyone. Garments and accessories are sewn from colourfully printed Kitenge fabrics: blouses, skirts, dresses, headgear, bags. The sewing teacher gives tips, helps with cutting and lends support to students with help and advice. The sewing products even look very professional. The path to establishing small seamstress shops is no longer so far away.
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