Seng Girls Sewing up a storm (well, a shirt actually)

Thanks to funding from the Fung (1906) Foundation, an on-site vocational based TAILORING program was set up at the Seng Girls Home six months ago.  The program, originally planned to help 5 of the older girls become professional tailors trained in making traditional Tibetan clothing, has now spread it’s wings much wider.  Dockpo, founder and Director of LOVEQTRA – the Qinghai registered charity that operates the Seng Girls Home, quickly saw the wider potential this 2 year sewing program had for so many more of the girls.  Today, 20 of the older girls are enrolled in this program and learning all of the basics required to produce quality work.  Here’s how it works:  each girl continues to study at the Girls Home but in addition, take this sewing class as an elective.  This requires them to spend 2 hours per day under the tutorship of an experienced seamstress.  In total, they receive 45 hrs of tuition a month, and around 450 hrs over the life of the training program.

Li-and-Fung-Trading-Ltd LogoOf the 20 girls, Dockpo tells us that 5 are doing extremely well and showing a real passion to one-day become professional Tailors.  He is hopeful that this will lead to eventual work as assistants in a Tailoring store in the future and their first safe step towards independence.

When Dockpo was asked why so many girls are now in the program, he simply said, “Sewing skill is very good.  Good quality clothing is something everyone wants and needs, and the job prospects are good in Qinghai, with good potential for opening up your own business.  When I saw how well this program was trialling, I wanted all girls 16 yrs and above to be involved.  Even those with little interest in sewing as it is more than just sewing skills they are learning – they are learning about real life, how to run a business and make money, and how to be responsible to see a job through to the finish.  All of our girls need this.  Also, I am lucky to have a good teacher who was very happy to teach up to 20 girls without adding more cost”.

Dockpo shared another story about the immediate benefit of this Tailoring program.  Recently the school received some good quality clothes from Shanghai and Beijing donors.  Trouble was some of the clothes were too big for the girls.  This gave the tailoring teacher a wonderful project opportunity.  Dockpo said the girls did a pretty good job at making the necessary alterations. 

Another project directly benefiting the school was making shirts for their many “sisters”.  You can see a picture of this.  Translated, the writing on the front says, “I love Seng Girls Home”.

As this program trial continues, we are again appreciative of the Fung (1906) Foundation getting behind this program.  As we see so many of these girls mature from being young girls to now young women, we share LOVEQTRA’s burden to find and create opportunities that will see them move safely and confidently into genuine work opportunities and eventual independence.  Thank you everyone for journeying with the Seng Girls Home project – a project that is today “bringing hope of a better tomorrow” to 160 girls.   

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