WOW . . . A record number of 23 women are participating in a new four month long sewing class sponsored by NUAFA. This far exceeds the 15 sewing machines available and few remaining fabric donations . . . but Cozumeleñas are adept at “making do” with what they have. The new class includes 8 beginners who have never sewn before and 15 women from previous classes eager to learn more advanced skills. Participants are learning to make their own patterns (see photo) and will sew a variety of 10-12 garments for themselves or others.
Interest in learning to sew continues to increase among local Cozumel women of all ages. Those of us from the US or Canada may consider sewing a “hobby” but the impact of sewing classes for local Mexican women goes waaaaay beyond learning a hobby . . .
- Women learn new hands-on skills
- These skills help support their families by preparing women for jobs, beginning home based businesses and/or using the skills to save their family money. It encourages self-sufficiency and contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty.
- Increases self confidence and develops pride in being able to produce goods their family needs
- Provides a positive support network to meet other women who are improving their lives
- Provides information about community resources to help their families.
- Participants are expected to attend several educational programs in addition to sewing classes.
Special THANKS to the SAIL group for bringing fabric donations in January. We have an ongoing need for fabric donations of 1 1/2 – 3+ yard lengths of lightweight plain or patterned cotton, poly/cotton blends, washable linen/rayon or knit jersey. Special dressy fabrics are also needed for learning advanced skills.
Special THANKS ALSO to Friends of Cozumel donors of items for “Gran Bazars”. Part of the proceeds from the most recent bazaar held March 1, 2011 will pay a modest stipend to the sewing class instructor.
Interested in providing donations or visiting a sewing class? Island residents or visitors are welcome to visit a class held 4-6 pm three days weekly. Request additional information from firstname.lastname@example.org