Visiting team and new skills building

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.

Jacky made little pouches with sewing notions inside and embroidered their names on each bag.

Danielle learned that teen girls have many things in common all around the World. Here they are teaching her a new dancing game.

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.

This was Ramatou’s first week using her new sewing machine. Exciting to see her glee and enjoyment of this new machine!

Overseeing the napkins and tablecloths. Nice simple straight lines and ironing and basic skill development for the newer girls.

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!

Wanda doing some stitch ripping to help out one of the students.

Samira and Fatiya really got the hang of cutting the strips to layout our scrappy angled table runners and they loved this color combo!


The finished product of our smaller size scrappy pouches. Lines and a strip of jean across the bottom gives a nice modern touch!

The larger size pouches with decorative stitching and heavier batting for lining so it keeps it shape. I love these!

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.

An amazing sight of a large group of hippos, sunning on sandbars in the Niger 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!

Showing off some of the products they made during this three week special skills course with our visitors. We are proud of the effort of each one of them!

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