I learned to sew not because I loved sewing, but out of necessity for living a life free of violence and abuse. I learned to sew to survive while running from a life of terror and abuse. Has sewing made everything in my life perfect? No, it has not. Perfection is a fallacy! However, it has increased my self-confidence, is helping me heal from the traumatic experiences I endured and through sewing I am empowered and I have sewn garments to support victims of violence in their recovery. While sewing has not made me rich as yet, it has provided for me to become an asset and I work toward becoming completely self-sustainable. Today I sew because I am passionate about it, I push forward because it has become a significant part of my life and provides a vision of hope every day. Every woman must be provided with opportunities to pursue informal and formal education to bolster self-confidence, become productive assets, and change the course of their lives. All this is part of claiming our spaces.
Today, I am working on a model called "Together We Sew". This model will be a strength-based participatory replaceable model which will build the capacity of women and girls who are marginalized and have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. It will provide social, entrepreneurial and life skills to women and girls who have been victims of violence and abuse. And will support women to develop their social capital to engage in civic participation, use their voices and agency to advocate for change by holding power-holders accountable.
"Together We Sew" is a concept one of my World Pulse sisters shared with me in early 2019 and she continues to provide technical support to develop the model which I aim to launch in March 2020 as a pilot project. I remember her saying "why don't you use this gift to empower marginalized women and women who are victims of violence?" she encouraged me to use my skills on a much wider scale to support victims of violence and women from rural areas who are marginalized, I have always wanted to do something to support the social reintegration of victims and empower women and girls who are looked down upon by many in society.
"Together We Sew" will restore a sense of hope to women and girls who are stripped of hope in themselves and humanity. Enhance self-efficacy enabling women and girls to understand and harness their power to take control of their environment and immediate spaces. And build life skills providing women and girls with the opportunity to gain skills to advance in the career path of their choice. Women are important to the world and this model will let women know they are important to the world by acknowledging their self-worth, power and competence.Sewing is an art, a skill which allows for the creation of beautiful artistic pieces which stuns even the dressmaker at times. Every stitch is a stitch of hope, healing and restoration. All pieces shown in pics were sewn by me.