By Makutu Manneh
Unique Foundation The Gambia has commenced tailoring training for thirty-one women who have undergone four months of sewing classes.
The training was scheduled for five days to enhance the capacity of the women and empower them on sewing for them to be self-reliant.
The project is funded by the Canadian Embassy.
Solomon Ifeanyi Nathaniel, national Coordinator for Unique Foundation The Gambia, said after taking the women on four months training on tailoring, they deemed it necessary to organize a five-day training on basic skills management, branding optimization and finance literacy training.
“The training is for five days and we discussed the class per week and each week they are going to have the session for two days mainly on weekends,” he said, adding that the programme is designed in a way that will pave way for the women to attend the training because some of them.
Nathaniel added that some of the women trainees are also attending their adult literacy classes.
Harping on the process leading to the identification of the women trainees, he said they reached out to various organizations and also put out an online registration system.
He said they have over 150 applicants but unfortunately, they could not take them all at once as their focus was mainly on those who did not have any sort of skills.
“Our initial targeted number was 20 but we ended up taking 31 for our tailoring classes,” he said.
He further went on to say the objective of the training is to enrich the skills of these women and ensure the sustainability of their initiatives in a competitive business environment.
He encouraged each trainee to maintain the same resilience they have shown in the sewing classes and to actively participate in all the sessions.
“Even if you’ve only participated in the adult literacy classes, the knowledge gained here can be applied to enhance your various businesses,” he said.
Isatou J. Sambou, one of the participants, said the training has benefited her a lot as she is now able to cut cloths and sew them.
She said she is not financially strong to afford fees to undergo training at tertiary schools and that it is equally hard for her parents to pay those tuitions for her.
“When I heard about this opportunity I applied and was accepted. The training has benefited me a lot because before this….., I did not have any skills even though I have long had passion for sewing,” she said.
“I used to wonder how people were able to sew clothes but now I am able to do all these by myself. Now with this knowledge, I want to venture into tailoring business such as sewing abayas and selling them to my fellow women on reasonable prices.”
Ms. Sambou called on young women to take advantage of such opportunities to have skills and empower themselves.
Sally Mariatou Jatta, who said she is in her 50s and undergoing the adult literacy classes in Unique foundation and also participating in their tailoring classes, asked on older women not to be shy to participate in such programmes.
She adds that now she is able to write and all thanks to the foundation.
Jainaba Jammeh, another participant, said “when I started this training my first day, I was dancing when I was cutting a cloth and that was because I was so excited and my teachers were be making fun of my dance moves”.
“I have sewn a cloth for myself and am very proud of this. We are all not destined to be in office and learning skills is part of the fundamentals of life,” she said.
She said she is studying education at The Gambia College but that did not stop her from taking part in such a program which is free of charge.
Unique Foundation (The Gambia) was established in 2014 as a charitable organization incorporated in The Gambia under the 2013 Companies Act.
The organization works closely with vulnerable children, youth, women and rural communities in The Gambia and recently in Nigeria.
Their primary focus areas revolve around ensuring access to quality education, promoting good health, and raising awareness about human rights, environmental hygiene, and social issues.