For some years a group of women have gathered together in Dili as “St Joseph’s Sewing Group”. Their aim is to develop their sewing and management skills to make their group self-supporting. As a small and independent enterprise, the group has the potential to generate finance to support their families. Some years ago the women received training from Australian volunteers and despite having never used sewing machines, quickly settled in to making articles for sale.
They began by making place mats, bags and serviettes and progressed to a range of garments. They work with the traditional cloth known as tais, but also produce items for daily use, mainly using cotton cloth. They have made hairbands, bandanas, shorts for boys, purses, table cloths, chair coverings, pillowcases and aprons, and they also do alterations. As their skills develop there are plans for them to make school uniforms.
The small and enthusiastic “St Joseph’s Sewing Group” is independent of ATLAS, but support for this venture is well within ATLAS’s aims: “to provide work skills and other assistance to enable recipients to set up a small self-sustaining business of their own.”
With your support, we can continue to assist these women to “make a go of it”.