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Sewing Project

The Mercy Outreach Ministry International, Inc. (MOM) has successfully initiated several self-help projects in rural communities in the Anse-a-Veau region in the southwestern peninsula of Haiti. One of these projects, A Women’s Initiative, was started to help women gain economic independence and to strengthen families life through training in sewing and clothing construction and repair.

Haiti Sewing Project Goals and Objectives

Sewing_Class_Haiti_Poverty

Sewing Class

Our goal is to train and prepare women in clothing construction and design, and to equip them with entrepreneurial skills so that they can provide clothing for their families, develop their own businesses in the rural areas and to be able to participate in the export-import market to take advantage of opportunities in the textile industry from abroad thereby gaining economic growth and financial independence.

Our short-term objective is to train twenty-five women over a two-year period to become professional seamstresses.

Our long-term objective is to establish a certified and licensed sewing school that can issue certificates of completion that are recognized by the government in Haiti.

Background

In almost all developing nations, women form the major catalyst for economic growth. They are street vendors who sell their produce from their little plots of land or products purchased at wholesale. They sell eggs from hens that they raise. They sell bread and pastries made with their own hands. They take in laundry, they make clothing to sell. In Haiti, they can even be seen selling cups of water on the congested and dangerous streets of downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti in the blazing sun.

Student learning to use the sewing machine


Women are determined to provide for their families. They are determined to see that their children get an education so that they can have a chance to climb out of the pits of deprivation. They work hard, long hours and quickly jump to any opportunity to gain information or skills to help them fight for a decent existence.

In Haiti, especially in the rural areas, there is an absence of clothing outlets as we know them. The populace must rely on clothing produced by the seamstresses in their community. Industrious women using treadle sewing machines produce the children’s school uniforms, everyday dress, etc.. Most are unskilled and can only produce low-quality garments. You can see them on their front porches, in dusty yards or anywhere that they can sit to work. Unfortunately, there is a severe lack of seamstresses because the people lack the money to obtain training in this skill. Training and certification means a better standard of living and the opportunity to teach other women in their family and in the local community.

Madame Ginette Duperval took the initiative to enroll herself in school in Port-au-Prince in 2003-5 after I brought my dress form, some fabric and sewing supplies to Haiti. She reasoned that since she used to sew as a young woman on an old treadle Singer, she could go to school to learn dressmaking and professional sewing (haute couture), go back to her home in rural Anse-a-veau, and teach the young women in her church and community how to sew so that they, too, could have a better chance at becoming economically independent. She became ill in passed in 2011. She will be missed, but her legacy will continue.

Haiti Sewing Project students learning to measure

Haiti Sewing Project students learning to measure

Madame Duperval graduated at the top of her class in late 2005 and was certified by the government of Haiti as being an haute couture after she successfully completed her course of study in clothing construction and design. She returned to Anse-a-veau and established a sewing school with eight young women using an old machine. Many women are clamoring to get into the class, but there is not enough equipment or supplies for them. MOM supplied her with some sewing supplies, and in May 2006, MOM purchased a new Singer machine (manual foot pedal) for the class.

Eight young women completed the first course that was offered in Anse-a-Veau. Unfortunately, the project came to a standstill due to lack of funding, and Sis. Duperval became ill and had trouble with her eyes.

Funds are needed to re-start this important project, purchase additional manual sewing machines and sewing kits. The kits consist of scissors, tape measures, fabric and other sewing accessories. Each kit can supply enough material for four (4) women. The estimated costs are as follows:


Manual Singer Sewing Machine with treadle $400.00

Sewing Kits $400.00 ea.

Classroom Supplies (blackboards, $1,000.00

wooden benches and desks, supply closet with lock, incidentals)

Thank you for considering this very important project. If we give a fish to eat, one can eat for a day. If we teach one how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime.


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