As a free sewing school, we always have people beating down our door who want to
sign up for classes! However, we are very intentional in making sure only the women who truly need this kind
of assistance are enrolled.
We partner with many churches in our area, and the church leaders refer the ladies from their congregations that they believe are in the greatest need. That way they come from a place that knows their histories and will encourage them to continue attending even when it's hard.
Another beautiful aspect of this method is the women come from a wide variety of church backgrounds, and they get to become a unified body of Crhist during the school!
We visit the ladies at their homes to interview them and assess their level of
We evaluate their physical poverty level with a rubric based on five criteria:
Does she have enough to eat?
Does she have access to clean water?
Does she have a safe place to live?
Can she afford healthcare?
Can she afford education for her kids?
If she can demonstrate significant need in all or most of these areas, she is enrolled in the school.
The ladies have 6 months in the first term, where they come twice per week in the afternoons to learn sewing basics.
Most of the new students have never touched a sewing machine before, and we patiently train them and build their confidence with constant encouragement.
Business and Finances
We have special classes on business and financial management to ensure that once they are entrepreneurs they will know how to thrive.
We begin each lesson with Bible study and prayer, and provide individual counseling and discipleship with one-on-one meetings throughout the time they are with us.
Carla Reinagel started the school and was originally the only teacher, but now we have a team of graduates on full-time teaching staff who pass on what they have learned!
The second term is also 6 months, where the ladies come every day in the mornings and make many products. We pay them for their labor, then take it on ourselves to sell their works. We give them some of their earnings in cash for immediate needs, and help them save a percentage in an account to earn their own sewing machines by the time they finish this phase.
At the end of a year, the ladies have learned many skills, made many products, and saved up enough to graduate and take home a sewing machine! We also gift them with a kit of starter materials such as scissors, pins, thread, and fabric.
Graduations are happy events full of testimonies, singing,
and showing off dresses that they made themselves!
We maintain contact with all of our graduates, we give them special orders to sew at home, invite them for several events every year, and do periodic visits to check on them and see how their lives have changed now that they can sew.