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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the Children at the Junior Sewing School
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.
PROJECT 1: TRANSPORT VEHICLE FOR THE CHILDREN
- During the Covid pandemic one of our lodges remained closed and we were able to transport the school children to the Junior Sewing School for their training at The Sijwa Project with one of the lodge game drive vehicles.
- As tourism is slowly starting to normalize the lodge will open and all game drive vehicles will be required for the guest activities.
- Our children walk up to 10km to and from the project per day after school.
- A transport vehicle will ensure up to 22 children attend the Junior Sewing School and Junior Ranger School daily to complete their two-year curriculum.
Estimated Cost/Budget = N$940,000 (23 seater priced at 10/2021)
SHOULD YOU HAVE SPACE IN YOUR LUGGAGE WHEN TRAVELLING TO OUR LODGES, MAY WE ASK THAT YOU PACK THE BELOW ITEMS FOR THE SEWING TEAM:
- old fabric pieces
- old cotton sheets
- old towels
- sewing items such as needles, thread, scissors
The Sijwa Project,
Standard Bank, Namibia,
Branch Code: 082372,
Swift Code: SBNMNANX
Please use the selected facet of the Sijwa Project you would like to donate to as a reference:
Project 1: Transport Vehicle for the Children of the Junior Ranger & Junior Sewing School
Project 2: Permaculture Centre
Project 3: Elephant Friendly Beehive Project
Project 4: Tree Nursery for the offset of carbon emissions
Project 5: Aluminium Recycling Workshop
Project 6: Junior Ranger School
Project 7: Pre-school & Library