The Junior Sewing School

at the Sijwa Project

In line with its vision to uplift and empower even the young from the surrounding communities, Chanique Rabe, the reigning Miss Supranational 2021 together with African Monarch lodges launched their Junior Sewing School at The Sijwa Project. The Honorable Chief Mayuni along with Chanique, Dusty and Tinolla unveiled the Junior Sewing School on the 20th of February 2021.

“I’ve always believed that when giving something, it should last a lifetime. It doesn’t have to change the world, but it should change somebody’s world. Having a physical life skill, like sewing, can change the lives of many-and I am honoured to be part of The Sijwa Project”

Chanique Rabe
Miss Supranational 2021

Chanique returned to Nambwa Tented Lodge on the 25th of April 2021 to commence training at The Sijwa Project. In the mornings she focused her attention on the training of the 4 adult facilitators for the Junior Sewing School Curriculum and in the afternoons her focus shifted to the scholars who arrived in small groups each day for the duration of 5 days. The scholars arrived with an eagerness and excitement that rippled through the project.

Chanique Rabe with junior sewing school students

35 Grade 10 pupils from the local Mayuni Secondary School will receive training at the Junior Sewing School every week over a two-year period. The sewing curriculum was carefully compiled by Chanique Rabe. African Monarch Lodges and Chanique Rabe a qualified fashion designer are committed to provide the young generation in a remote region of Namibia with a skillset that could change their future once they complete their schooling.

Girls and boys enrolled for the training, equal in their determination to grasp this opportunity with both hands. A step-by-step approach was developed from the basics of holding a needle, how to sew a straight line along dotted lines on a piece of paper to how to thread a sewing machine.

Restoring Dignity to the Girl Child

A 2018 study shows that the average Namibian girl misses about 46 school days a year, because they are menstruating. There are very many factors holding the African child back, we believe something as natural as menstruation should not be one of them.  Girls miss school, most times because they cannot afford sanitary products, but also because of all the shame around periods. Therefore, helping them, goes beyond just providing them with sanitary products, but empowering them with information that shows them there is no shame in menstruation. Young ladies have the right to dignity. They do not have to sacrifice their education because of their menstrual cycle.

It is African Monarch Lodge’s wish to be part of the solution to this age-old problem which exists in these rural communities. The Sijwa Project took on the task to manufacture re-usable sanitary pads and the children at The Junior Sewing School will have this as their main project once they become well versed in the technique of sewing. By manufacturing re-usable sanitary pads and distributing these into all the local communities, girls can with confidence remain in school throughout the month.

In April this year, Avril Payment Solution, donated 10 sewing machines and 1 overlocker to the Junior Sewing School at The Sijwa Project. They made a pledge to sponsor the donation of sanitary towels which are made at the Sijwa Project. They committed to making their first donations of these re-usable sanitary towels to the Zambezi Region of Namibia.

AVRIL Payment Solution
reusable sanitary pads created by the Junior Sewing School

For decades now, the Women’s leadership Centre (WLC) has worked towards empowering young Namibian women, especially, through capacity building that has helped them find their feminist voices and agency. They believe this aligns strongly with the Zambezi Girl Child Foundation (ZGCF)’s aims to develop girls’ confidence and empower them to become active members of their communities, gaining a sense of social responsibility.

reusable sanitary pads created by the Junior Sewing School

On the 11th October the International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

On the 7th of October 2021 Avril Payment Solution sponsored the donation of 100 sets of re-usable sanitary towels to the Women’s Leadership Centre, the Zambezi Girl Child Foundation and The Zambezi Trio. This is the second year that Avril Payment Solution is supporting the initiative and wish to continue with their assistance.

It is on this day that The Sijwa Project proudly handed over 300 reusable sanitary towels in sets of 3, presented in a beautiful cloth bag. All handmade with love and pride by our Senior Seamsters.

We thank Avril Payment Solution for their unwavering support to The Sijwa Project.

How You Can Help

We at African Monarch Lodges, through this diverse initiative, have created renowned guest experiences through intuitive moments of contact with our people. We are developing artisan skills and enriching the lives of our youth and our community whilst protecting the habitat and respecting nature’s course. We trust that you will feel our passion and enthusiasm for the success of The Sijwa Project and would help us achieve the full potential for this remote part of Namibia. We would appreciate any form of support.

We thank you for selecting to stay at our African Monarch Lodges, as your stay makes an enormous difference within the local community through our monthly contributions as a Joint Venture Partner with the Mayuni and Mashi Conservancies.

Bank Details

The Sijwa Project,
Standard Bank, Namibia,
Acc: 60003912069,
Branch: Windhoek,
Branch Code: 082372,
Swift Code: SBNMNANX

Please use the facet of the Sijwa project you would like to donate to as a reference:
The Permaculture Centre, Glass Recycling Workshop, Aluminium Recycling Workshop, Tree Nursery for the offset of carbon emissions, Elephant Friendly Beehive Project, Junior Sewing School, Junior Ranger School, Sewing Workshop.