Training for Transformation

Learning to Sew in Mozambique

With a United Methodist Women economic development grant, women of all ages gain skills to become independent.

Learning to Sew in Mozambique
Pastor Eduardo Ângelo and the first class of the Mozambique sewing project.

In March 2019, the local United Methodist Women leadership in Chicuque, Mozambique met to discuss the start of a sewing course. When they started this project, the women had no support, and they were using local funds from the women's organization. To begin, the women relied on three machines, two of which were manual and one of which was electric. Students had to pay for their own enrollment fee.

With a United Methodist Women economic development grant they rehabilitated the facilities where the project would take place. Because the classes took place in rooms that had been abandoned for a long time, the glass in the windows had to be repaired or replaced, electricity hooked up, and the doors fixed with new locks for security.

When the course started on June 26, 2019, 11 women enrolled, and nine months later, five graduated. Some of the reasons that six students could not complete the course include: the lack of money to pay the training fee, long distance of travel from their homes, and not enough sewing machines. Incidentally, the student fees helped pay for maintenance of the machines and the monthly salary of the teacher.

Sewing Bags and School Uniforms

United Methodist Women contributed to this project and enabled the women to become independent. The students learned to make and sell school uniforms for their own children and others. They made bread bags and other saleable items. Their profits went back into the United Methodist Women local women's organization.

Graduation of students took place on March 14, 2020. During graduation, the women received certificates to confirm that they were prepared to do vital sewing work. At this graduation ceremony, Pastor Eduardo Ângelo, delegate of the bishop, presided. In attendance were invited guests of the graduates and the president of the United Methodist Women local organization. The graduates, whose ages ranged from 25 to 77 years old, were so happy and proud to have new skills and a viable profession.

Sixteen students have enrolled for the second class that was set to commence the first week of April 2020. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the start date has been delayed. When health restrictions end, the women will be ready to proceed with the next class, learning viable skills and making a positive difference in their families and communities.

Quiteria Muhota is Executive Secretary for the South West Annual Conference – Mozambique.

Posted or updated: 7/24/2020 12:00:00 AM

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United Methodist Women Economic Development Initiative (EDI) creates economic opportunities even in the most vulnerable rural communities. The seed grants support women entrepreneurs to start and run viable small enterprises, agribusinesses and income-generating activities. The opportunities that these small grants create for women, their families and communities are powerful catalysts, especially during COVID-19 when the economic situation is becoming more and more insecure.