July 19th, 2009
Written by Tara Hawks, Director of Sewing Hope (a Fount of Mercy program)
This is Aisha, one of our MOHM women who is simply lovely. She has a quiet and sweet spirit, and a surprising ambition. Although I have met her in the past, this year was the first time I was able to sit down with her and learn more about her life. The basics are that she has a household of 11, which she supports on her own because her husband cannot work due to illness.
She took an idea of Sarah's (MOHMS Vocational Tailoring Director) and has run with it, turning it into a little business for herself. Basically, she can go to the market and purchase a blouse for 500ugs, around 25 cents in our money. She takes it home, and cuts the sleeves off, takes it in to be more fitted, puts elastic in the waist, opens the neckline using the sleeves as a facing, and can resell it for 1000ugs, doubling her money. As long as the blouse is 30" long, it can be a dress, or she can use the sleeves or a bedsheet to lengthen it also. These are popular among young women or teenagers in the villages. It is a creative and cost-effective way to make a new product, one which most of Sarah's students never latched onto. But Aisha has. It is so satisfying to see that after 2 years of classes, virtually all of the women are using their skills to make money! Aisha is only one example.