Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NVOC Graduates reunion!

A few weeks ago we hosted a Girls get together for our NVOC training school students. We had received the final batch of graduation certificates from the “Ministry of the Promotion of Women’s Affairs” and we wanted to get the recipients together to celebrate their success! This is the last batch of Girls who graduated and wrote the exams. It takes months here to process them through the right offices, thus the delay in getting their actual certificates. I was so proud of all these ladies who worked so hard the past three years with us to achieve their goals of being excellent seamstresses!

Here are pictures of a few of the recipients

Zeinabou is one of our oldest students and she was a lovely, quiet, peacemaker in the class.

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Miriama was our youngest student. She came to us when she was just 13 years old. Her family is very poor and she was very frightfully skinny and she spent many days after school in the markets lugging a large basket of fish on her head to sell to support her family. Now she is healthy and confident and she no longer sells fish in the market. Now she is apprenticing as a seamstress in the community!

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Nafisaa is a beautiful young lady who overcame many family and health struggles to be able to pass the exam and receive her certificate. She continues to persevere, walking a long distance every day to be able to go to a market where she is apprenticing as a seamstress, bringing her new young daughter with her.

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It was exciting to see many of the young ladies who are now married and have new babies of their own. A few of us sat down together and it was fun to see the babies interact. We weighed and measured every baby who came with their mother and charted them and we were so thrilled to see each and every baby thriving and their mothers were so proud to tell us they were breastfeeding and were confident in caring for their children and none were sick! Praise God for all they learned!

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My best friend Miriama loving on baby Ella. They both look lovely in purple Smile

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And what would a party be without food and fun. I didn’t take too many photos of the party side but we had so much fun talking and catching up with the girls who came and their lives. Arielle came as well and she enjoyed being a helper in our kitchen by washing dishes and cutting up veggies. After all was prepared we had a great meal of rice, thick meat and veggie sauce and bissap juice.

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Good friends. I miss seeing these Girls every week!

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And finally, a picture of Ella Sahara Grace and Sahara. When we named Ella, we had 3 reasons for choosing Sahara as her middle name. One of those reasons was this young lady, who embodies the work we do in Niger. She was 14 when she started with us and she was a shy, illiterate, sad young lady. Now she has blossomed, she has a huge wild fashion sense and a great sense of humour. She lives big and makes us laugh every time we are with her. She works hard and is sewing all her own outfits now. I hope my daughter will blossom, tackle life, embrace joy and work hard just like this Sahara. I pray also she will find a passion and mission in her own life just like we have working with young women here in Niger. Sahara absolutely loved the fact that they share a name!

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As time passes after graduation many of the girls are getting married, having babies and moving away. I value so much each opportunity to gather with some of them and continue to pray for their successes and God’s richest blessing in their lives.

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