A sewing vocational training initiative, designated for economically vulnerable women in Angola. The training provides participants with professional sewing skills, along with the business knowledge required to enable employment opportunities that lead to economic and social independence.
Microfinance social initiatives held in developing countries found economic advancement of women to be more effective in reducing household poverty and even in breaking cross-generational poverty cycles, since women are more likely than men to invest a large proportion of their income in improving nutrition, education, leisure activities and welfare of their children.
Angolan women have less access than men to productive resources and employment opportunities, their chances of completing their studies are lower and so are their chances of finding decent employment. In the Ilha neighborhood of Luanda, high dropout and illiteracy rates among women are caused by socio-cultural factors, which mainly include financial constrains that force women to leave school and get a job or help at home, as well as teenage pregnancies. Thus, many women lack the opportunity to get an education and find proper and fair employment.
A vocational training initiative, dedicated to women, which enables them to acquire a trade, may encourage women to participate in the labor market, and thereby contribute to socio-economic growth at the family level and even more broadly – of the community as a whole.
The Sewing for All vocational training initiative of the Menomadin Foundation’s Angolan subsidiary The Foundation of Art and Culture, trains women who have no prior education or professional knowledge for a wide range of employment opportunities in the sewing field. The program includes a 4-month training course, held in a women-friendly environment, which combines traditional manual sewing techniques with the use of a pedal-operated sewing machine.
Participants are accompanied by a professional team that includes a sewing instructor, a personal and business management consultant, and a computer skills teacher. In addition, an experienced social worker works with the participants on developing teamwork abilities, while strengthening self-confidence and self-esteem.
Graduates can start their own independent sewing business, work in factories, or join The Women’s Sewing Cooperative as partners, where they can enjoy a share of the profits.