March 2015 Carpentry & Sewing Training Progam Updates
Carpentry Program Update:
The Marracuene Carpentry shop is a project designed to help former youth from the Iris Zimpeto Children's Centre, when they are reintegrated back into their community. The youth receive vocational training in the area of carpentry, alongside an experienced Mozambican carpenter and a western missionary.
The carpentry shop is located in Marracuene, a rapidly growing suburb 15km north of Maputo. Currently three youth are involved in the project working full days from 8 am to 4 pm. The shop is equipped with basic machinery and tools to carry out 95% of the work in-house. Some jobs like heavy wood cutting and planning are done at specialized shops.
After being closed for quite some time due to lack of personnel and finances, the carpentry shop was re-opened in September 2014 thanks to the funding from Iris Ministries Canada.
In earlier years the carpentry training helped with work for the Zimpeto base. Since it re-opened in 2014 we additionally aimed to produce items for local community needs. We started off by producing a few pieces of furniture to use as displays. Wood prices rose strongly in 2014 bringing the costs of wood for a common piece of furniture like a main door to about 300$. This compares with an average monthly Mozambican salary of about 150$!
Because of costs, when we re-opened we began building new pieces, such as shelves made of pine wood (which is much less expensive than the traditional Umbila or Chafuta wood).
The young people in the program are also learning some marketing skills in the process. This is a great project for youth. It is helping to provide daily structure to youth. As they mature, they are learning valuable skills that will bring more independence to their lives.
Sewing Program Update:
When in Mozambique, Betty assists a Mozambican woman named Lourdes, who now is able to run the program in Betty's absence. Lourdes is a very experienced seamstress and an excellent teacher. At present, there are a total of twenty-six girls being trained, three of which are disabled. In addition to this, four women from the community come to be taught every Friday morning. They follow a specific program that’s been put in place so that they are well-rounded with regards to sewing when they complete the program. As a result, they are able to perform just about any sewing task from making patterns and changing zippers to quilt-making.
[Betty and Lourdes with 3 of the girls that are learing to sew.]