The Catholic Women Association of Kenya at Christ the King Cathedral Parish in Bungoma, Kenya, received a grant from the Roho Mtakatifu Fund in 2013 to build a women’s sewing school. The purpose of the school is to teach women sewing skills and help them to be able to provide for their families and rise out of poverty.
The grant enabled the school to purchase four sewing machines, and the school is set up to teach 25 students each year, with a long-term goal of teaching over 600 pupils. In addition to the two teachers, the school will employ several other women as saleswomen who will market the products made by the students. The proceeds from the sales will be split between the student’s fees, scholarships for needy students and helping make the school self-sufficient. Though the school is geared primarily toward women, some young men who need vocational training and are interested in sewing will also be accepted into the program as space and time allows.
Part of the curriculum for this school includes teaching them how to make purses, sandals, school uniforms, petticoats, games for children, and tablecloths, in addition to teaching them how to make various repairs.
The curriculum also includes registering the students at Matili Polytechnic Training Institute (MPTI), and upon taking their final examinations at MPTI they will receive a certificate, which will help them find jobs with their new skills.
Part of our guiding principle at Agathos International is providing training for those in need so they can provide for themselves, rather than giving them handouts, which will only sustain them for a short time. This sewing school aligns well with our goals, and we look forward to seeing how God can use this school to make a positive change in the community in Bungoma.