Thursday, February 23, 2012

Great News from the Senegal Sewing Center

Hello again!

Almost as soon as we published our blog post updating you on two programs we did in partnership with the Millennium Villages Project, we received fantastic news from Serigne Kandji about our sewing center in the Millennium Village in Senegal!

Have you been reading the headlines coming out of Senegal lately? You can get a good idea of what's going on from these NPR and New York Times reports. The reports are focused on regime change and rioting, which makes the good news we received from Senegal mean that much more to us. It proves what we always say: Africa can seem totally hopeless if you read the American press, even when there are wonderful things happening all over the place! Unfortunately, good news doesn't sell.

But we're not selling news here, and we LOVE  to share good news! The Leona sewing center, Jigeen ca Waarwa (Women at Work), is located in the Potou, Senegal Millennium Village cluster and was fully operational in 2011, with four girls enrolled. A photo slideshow from the center can be seen on the Women's Sewing Center project page of our website. Due to the resounding success--ever growing activity and demand for training in other villages in the cluster-- two decisions have been made by the management committee.

The first is to move the Leona center to a more spacious and centralized location! This space has already been found--a stall along the Leona-Potou main road--and a contract signed with the owner. The machines will be moved before the end of this month.

The second decision made is to open another sewing center! This center will be located in Potou, with the money generated by Jigeen ca Waarwa. Again, a stall has been found, and the contract already signed. Very soon, there will be two or three machines purchased. A tailor will be hired for this center, and girls will be recruited for training!

Tailor and Student
 With all of this success, the training of the first class of girls in the Leona center will be accelerated so that they are able to graduate before the next rainy season.

This kind of news makes me think of an January article I came across recently, in which Millennium Promise founder Jeffrey Sachs makes the point, "We're not arguing for a culture of dependency. We're arguing to end it." This is exactly reflected in the success of Jigeen ca Waarwa, and we cannot wait to see this project continue to grow and generate good news from Senegal!


A finished product

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