Friday, March 26, 2010

Machine Power

DHF has really increased it's machine power this year. We went from 2 old Singer sewing machines last year to 8 machines this year. Where our Hope House is housed, with a small group of nuns that believe in serving the poor, there is the capacity to hold sewing classes like we never have before. We held an Introduction to Sewing class yesterday, where women learned how to make a simple apron pattern. In the beginning of class all the women gathered in the sewing room around the long tables where they were instructed to cut their material. The 18 women in class divided into 2 smaller groups and it was really fun to watch them help each other and even teach each other. Our new sewing professor, Sonia, hails from a technical institute in Cajamarca and was so calm, patient and composed as she made the rounds of all 8 sewing machines to get them working. Once material was cut, some women made their way straight to the machine, while others handsewed their material pre-machine pass. I only got to witness a few finished aprons, as I had to run off to a new village bank inauguration, but from the sight of the work level, the women I am sure went home content with their newly made bright aprons.
As the sewing class was finishing their aprons, I ran to another new village bank inauguration, thankfully in the same building complex as our class. The village bank "Women Entrepenuers" formed last night with a 'semilla', or seed money of s/2,000.00 soles (roughly $704) . This bank is composed of many recovering mental health patients that the nuns here have served and rehabilitated. They are women with work skills, but up until this point haven't worked with business capital to use and grow those skills. The best part of the inauguration was the ending when one of the women said, "too bad we couldn't do a toast for this special occasion." At that moment I remembered the extra orange Fanta soda that I had leftover from our business charla. I ran downstairs to grab the sacred orange drink and served the new village bank members their plastic toast glasses. There were heart warming words and the actual toast, which made the meeting complete.

Paz ~ Nora

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