OWWR offers a machine sewing class to refugees in two sites. One is in Kansas City Missouri, and the other is in Kansas City Kansas. Those who complete the tuition free nine-week class get to keep the machine they worked on, as well as a new iron, scissors, fabric, and various supplies.
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Juwira arrived from Somalia as a toddler in the early years of the 21st century. She and her mother came together and have been family for each other ever since. In the intervening years Mom opened a fabric outlet, specializing in Somalian weaves and prints. Juwira did what most of her contemporaries in the United States do, she went to school.
Now, in her second year of college, she is studying business from top to bottom. You see, her mother has dreamt all these years that Juwira would, when she was ready, begin to transform Mom’s goods into clothing—a solid base to form her own small business. First, though, Juwira needed to learn what Mom had not, how to sew! She took our beginning sewing class, graduating in July of this year, with honors, no small task while also doing full time college studies. She followed the formal classes with one-on-one tutoring offered by Ann Say, and is already producing marketable pieces in the traditional Somali styles.
As she continues to grow her academic training and her sewing skills she is taking more and more joy in the fulfillment of what was once just a dream! For her the surprising bonus is that now her sewing is actually serving to help pay her college tuition.
WE ARE EVER SO GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT YOU DO TO SURPRISE OUR NEW REFUGEE FRIENDS WITH JOY!
Sewing Class Graduates
To January, 2021, we have graduated 143 students from our beginning sewing classes in the five years since this project was launched. Most have gone on to create sewn items for their family households. Many have added to that by taking on sewing projects for friends and country mates and have been able to contribute that way to their family financial resources. Besides these, several have found full time employment in a garment shop creating uniforms for sporting teams.
We have been proud of and grateful for our close relationship with Mr. Mike Mitchell of Restoration Apparel.