Friends and Readers – I know you will enjoy this update from Malawi as much as I did. The Tailoring School in Mzuzu is a wonderful ministry empowering women.
THE HOPE TAILORING SCHOOL SYNOPSIS
The Hope Tailoring School has seen two classes graduate, as of 2010. The second class began May 4th 2010 and is well on its way instructing a class of new students tailoring skills that will enable them to be more productive citizens of Malawi.
The second class of students, like the first is made up of people who have always been on the peripherals of society; they come to this class to gain skills that will help them become financially secure economic players, breaking the cycle of poverty so common among the marginalized. One of the major purposes of these skills courses is to empower women, regardless of their current status in the world – we accept students regardless of if they are illiterate, under-educated or financially handicapped.
It is our hope that the skills they gain at Hope Tailoring School (HTS) will enable them to participate in the market place. All of the students are coming through this program aspire to find means and ways of generating income to sustain their families, but the HTS program dreams that they will do even more with their new skills; we hope they will change not only Malawi, but the world, one woman at a time.
During the devotional time constructed into each day of learning, students learned about the good works of Dorcas (also called Tabitha) who made garments and gave them to the poor, Dorcas’s garments were her alms to the poor. The devotional lessons were geared toward encouraging the women to imitate Dorcas’s example, thereby receiving the same blessings given to her (Acts 9:36). The students were particularly encouraged to look at the wellbeing of the orphans and vulnerable children in their midst who could benefit from their services. James 1:26 was also an inspiration to the women – providing a Biblical basis for Christian charity to those in need.
The women consider this program a big window of opportunity through which they can acquire skills to fulfill their dreams. In the course of the training we achieved a number of things, but the accomplishments deserve special recognition. The training has enhanced the women’s social intercourse, increased their spiritual growth, and also gave them the skills. Now they are ready to go out into the world and start their business ventures.
The Hope Tailoring School graduation was a milestone to the work of UMC in Mzuzu. It brought people from the entire city to the University hall. This ceremony was particularly unique in that we did not just use the Mzuzu University facilities, but we also had Professor Lusayo Mwabumba as the guest of honor, to speak encouraging words to the graduates. The professor shared with the audience the new branches of the dream of the Hope Tailoring School, such as the Knitting School and a Culinary School. These two new branches would give incoming students an array of skills from which to choose and hopefully utilize in the complex marketplace.
The class was very gleeful and excited about beginning this new chapter in their lives. They entered the hall singing and dancing. They even planed a fashion show, where they displayed their creative fashions, and fine new skills. The Class Captain gave a speech disclosing the teams’ gratitude for the training opportunity with a special focus on their vision to become economic players. It was a short but electric presentation.
As a gift in good faith that these promising students will be world changers, the graduates were given seed-money from the UMC head office. It is expected that this money will help them start their business off on the right foot. Each lady received 7,500 Kwacha.
During her address as class captain, Agnes Nyirenda made the sure to express how this course has given the women the power to generate income for their families and for the church. The audience erupted with praise, making joyful noise and sharing feelings of success and hopefulness. Violet Banda, was recognized for her aptitude and skills as one of the best students of the first class with a special reward. Mrs. Nyirenda was rewarded for her leadership abilities with a new suit. Apart from these special awards, every student received a certificate, the aforementioned jump-start package, and a special notebook for business planning and record keeping.
Almost all of them have already started to go into some business. Mrs. Nyirenda received orders just after the graduation to make dresses and skirts. Another student, Hannah Makala received four orders just after graduation because some audience members were impressed with her graduation suit. Phalles Singini made three dresses for children on the 14th of June 2010 and two of them were sold within 2 hours and the third sold on the very next day. Mrs. Linda Mzumara, another promising student, is currently making caftans for sale at a hawker’s shop.
Overall, the Hope Tailoring School is proud of the first class of graduates and hopes for even brighter and higher achievements for the next class. It is our prayer that the seeds sown in these special women will reap a fine harvest for their families, for their country, and for the world.
Peace and Love,
REV CCM NKHATA.
Hope Tailoring School Director