Fast Stat: 100+ women and girls have learned livelihood skills by passing the Golden Hands Sewing Training Course and are now able to help their families generate income.
Michie arrived at ER’s sewing and pattern-making class fraught with fear. She was shy and a loner. Would she fit in with the other women? Could she keep up? Would it be worth the effort?
With no skills or resources, 29-year-old Michie’s future resembled the cloth and thread used in the class – lots of potential, but needing of a whole lot of work to transform into something beautiful.
Enter the staff of ER’s Pathway For Hope program. They saw Michie’s potential and embraced her. They loved and encouraged Michie while teaching her the skills to become a first-rate seamstress.
More Than Livelihood Skills
By joining with the other women in the class, Michie also learned how to connect with the people in her struggling community. She’s making friends and becoming more productive. To further her self-empowerment, Michie joined the Unity Savings Group of Pathway for Hope. This club teaches her to manage her finances through proper budgeting, disciplined savings and using her new sewing skills to help support her son and husband.
Today, Michie is applying everything she learned from the sewing class to make products for sale, such as handbags and cleaning rags, along with repairing garments. By her own account, Michie has gained significant skills and knowledge that are timeless. She is free to strengthen her family and help her son with his studies.
Golden Hands Empowers Vulnerable Women Like Michie
In 2012, a group of mothers and women from a small community of poor informal settlements in Makati City decided to meet on a regular basis. Their purpose is to spend productive time learning more skills.
Extreme Response Asia’s Golden Hands Livelihood Educational Program took the initiative to train, educate and organize the women, most of whom come from the informal settlements. The aim of the program is to invest into the lives of women living in extreme and often life-threatening situations.
Program director Anne Benavidez developed a community-based curriculum for the group. They meet once a week for values formation and skills enhancement. They are taught how to do basic sewing and pattern making for skirts, swing bags, double-sided aprons and a whole lot more. During the training, the women develop not only their skills, but self-confidence and a sense of community.
How You Can Help
Would you help provide a pathway to hope for the next Michie? Many women are on our wait lists. We need your help! Click HERE and designate your gift “Golden Hands”.
*Name changed for privacy