Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Training Centre opens!!

We are thrilled to be able to post this blog that has been a long time coming. The centre is OPEN!!

Classes started on Monday and already we are getting to know the girls and are so excited for all of the possibilities that this centre has.

The morning class (afternoon class photo to come later- they are having issues being on time!)20101103-_MG_7749

On Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the girls learn the skills of hand sewing, machine sewing, crochet and embroidery. They will learn to cut fabric and make patterns to make the colourful outfits you see all across the country. This will give them a marketable skill and a way to help their families.

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Currently they are learning right from the beginning. They are learning to hand sew stitches and seams as their first steps.20101101-IMG_7674

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    On Wednesdays, classes are completely different! These days Rebecca and I are very personally involved in planning and teaching the curriculum. We are teaching math, money management, health, hygiene, nutrition, literacy, French and a plethora of other topics. This morning we had a math placement test so we can put them into two levels. Some of these young women have NEVER walked into a school before and cannot even write numbers or letters!20101103-_MG_7758

We also had a chance to share with the two classes what our heart for the centre was and the motivation behind starting it. We talked about how when you target a young girl and get her to a grade 5 education level- everything can change for her! And that we really have a special place in our hearts for them!

We also talked about how this centre is a place of safety for them. 15 minutes after class starts the gates are locked and no men will enter the facility. They can relax, ask questions, and be free to interact and learn in peace. The world outside will be harsh, life can be harsh, even the climate in Niger is harsh, but inside these walls we will stand together and create our own little family of women for the next two years. One desire I have is to teach them to love each other, protect each other, and to grow strong bonds of friendship and respect.

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And of course, we had to have a little fun! To break the ice (I only wish we had more ice here!) we played a game. They all sat in a circle on chairs. Depending on their answers to questions, some of them moved around the circle, moving to the next chair. If that chair was already occupied, they just sat on the person! The girls laughed so hard and sometimes we had chairs 4 people deep! It was so great to see them laugh and grin since they usually seem so somber. Even all the individual pictures I took for their ID badges look more like jail booking photos for all their scowls and frowns! They refuse to smile and think they must look serious in their photos.

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All the girls- all smiles after getting handmade quilts to take home for “cold season” just around the corner!20101103-IMG_7775

 

On another note- we are still in serious need of prayer partners. We want to pair up each of these 60 girls with at least one prayer partner who will prayerfully support her through this program. You will get a profile and picture of your girl and regular updates. Please EMAIL US at girlsatrisk@impactniger.org if you would like to be a prayer partner. We hope to have the profiles all together and send them out by Nov 15th.

So there you have it- the adventure has begun!!

As one girl put it- our lives change NOW!!

 

Much love,

Chantelle (and from Rebecca too!)

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