Fashion School update

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Wed, 27 Aug 2014 | 5 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Firstly let me apologise for taking so long to update everyone on how the Kiwoko Fashion School is doing. Someone a lot smaller than me commands my time now and has me working for her 24/7!

10 girls started our first fashion course here at Kiwoko on 18th March. They were a mix of characters. Some had travelled from 2 hours away when a family member who worked at Kiwoko told them about this opportunity to study dressmaking at a tenth of the cost the colleges in Kampala were charging. Others were local girls from Kiwoko village, many related to staff members like the daughter of one of our grounds men, the niece of one of our lab technicians and the wife of one of our builders. This had been one of the main aims of the school, as we often lose vital staff members as there are no opportunities locally for their family members to study or gain employment.

As tutors we have been most impressed by one student, Clare (named changed for privacy). Clare is a cleaner at the hospital so at first we were reluctant to interview her as the course was not designed for people who already had a job. But her application was very impressive and then she blew us away at interview. She had given the course so much thought, had saved up her salary to pay for it, and was so keen to learn, we had to give her a chance.

She has proven very worth the risk. Clare works so hard and earnestly, and it’s such a joy to see her face light up when she finishes a project and realises she now has a new skirt to wear, or new bag, or new blouse. Early on in the course we taught them how to adjust all their patterns to fit themselves so every time they learn to make a new item of clothing, once we have marked it, they get to take it home and keep it. You can imagine how much they love to show off what they have made.

The first year at the school is now half way through we are beginning more complicated sewing and dressmaking techniques like a Gomez (traditional Ugandan costume) and bridal wear.

None of this would have been possible of course without the tremendous support this project received from churches and friends in Ireland. I hope those who contributed realise the fantastic opportunity they have given 10 eager to learn young Ugandan women.

The main aim in everything we are trying to do here in Uganda is to help people to glorify God, not just increase their income. We believe that development is not done to people or for people but with people. These girls are learning new skills and developing their own abilities through their own efforts. This way they will gain self-confidence and be able to provide for themselves and their families.



Jayne Mcclenaghan said Sun, 24 Aug 2014 11:18AM
Thank you so much for the update which I will pass to my ladies. I just wish I had been there to see them in action.have you plans to continue next year.i hope so and let us know if you need anything else
Sharon carson said Sun, 24 Aug 2014 03:18PM
Great to hear of such inspirational on going work , truly humbling
Lorraine and Danny graham said Sun, 24 Aug 2014 10:24PM
Great update, Tania, good to know things are going so well, we are so glad to be part of that work you both are doing , God bless you three, give Lana a big kiss from me
Gillian Maganda said Sun, 24 Aug 2014 11:48PM
Praying for you all! Great update xo
Helen McAllister said Fri, 30 Jan 2015 06:41PM
Sandra Cotter, Anne Cullen and myself Dr Helen McAllister want to say Hello and well done for the success of this setting up of the school. Sandra is on Face book so sees regularly images posted. We are very keen to follow this, and really would love to devlop future links of maybe some or our students going out on internships to work in the area of design ????

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