This March we had the joy of hosting a team of ladies from Alberta, Canada. These ladies came to the Girls School to work alongside our staff and girls and to teach the girls a few new projects. As always, they focus on quality and straight lines and ways to increase both the productivity and quality of the products that the school produces. Every year the girls look forward to this trip of visitors that we run once a year. There is lots of laughter, dancing, charades to get over language differences and genuine love and joy is born between them. I love to see the way this heart connection is forged across the World! On this team were Tamara (it was her third visit to us here in Niger), her teen daughter Danielle for her first visit, Jacky returning for her second visit and Wanda as a first time visitor as well.
This year at our school we have two different levels of Girls. We have a first year class who are just learning hand sewing basics and embroidery and had barely started working on the sewing machines, and another group of third year girls who are very proficient on the machines and will graduate in June. The first projects we did with both groups of girls and they were simple tablecloths with napkin sets and keychain lanyards.
For the second stage of the sewing projects we gave the first year group of girls the week off and focused on more advanced skills and quality for our girls who are in third year and will graduate soon. We made scrappy patchwork lined pouches (which are adorable!) and patchwork angled table runners. Teaching the importance of even seam allowance might seem trivial, but it sure makes a difference once you start to see all those strips sewn together and try to cut them into shapes! We also loved seeing how the girls really loved the mixing and matching of bright African fabric into useful items. Some of them even went home one night and came back the next day having used their own fabric and machine to whip themselves up similar bags!
And of the weekends we also fully enjoyed some of the fun adventures to be found in and around Niamey, visiting the last West African herd of wild giraffes, visiting the Parc W wildlife reserve and going hippo spotting on the river.
Every year we are thankful for our visitors and for the time and effort they put into encouraging and teaching both our staff and students. A wonderful partnership of like minded individuals across the World!