Nestled amidst an impoverished rural landscape, where opportunity is scarce and unemployment a cruel reality, the Fungai Education Centre provides opportunities to students and members of the community. The school was founded in 2007 from the vision and dedication of the head teacher, Joseph.
In 2020, Joseph realised that there was huge potential to use the school as a skills training centre. He thought that by giving young students practical manual skills, it would increase their employability and allow them to have a headstart in their careers, particularly if they cannot afford to go to university.
This is especially important as the school is in an incredibly poor rural area, with extremely high unemployment rates. Joseph didn’t want his students to finish school and be left with no way to earn money. He applied for five sewing machines from TWAM, and he has been using them to their maximum potential.
Three days a week, the hum of sewing machines fills the classroom, as a tutor comes in to teach 80 eager students. Any student aged 14 or above who wishes to join the courses can do so. The machines are also used to offer training courses to the community after school hours, and many of the students’ parents come to benefit from the skills training too.
Shalom tells us: “When I was younger, I used to watch my mum tailoring, and I really admired it. I sometimes asked her to show me how to do it, and she used to teach me some basic skills.
I thought this class would be a good way to improve my basic skills. I have only been in the tailoring class for eight months, but I’m already making dresses and skirts. I’m really enjoying it. It has inspired me to become a designer one day.”
Shalom is now following in her mother’s footsteps and helping to grow the family’s income. The course has given her the skills that she needs to succeed, and we’re sure that after she leaves school, she will have her own successful tailoring business and achieve her dreams of becoming a designer.
Most of the tailoring students are girls, but Amos is one of the few boys on the course. He tells us: “My teacher told me about this class, and I thought that I should join so that I have more skills to give myself a better future. I just live with my parents, and they don’t make much money, so I want to help them.
I really think that tailoring is my thing, I’m good at it. I want to be a tailor in the future so that I can earn some money for myself. I can make many different kinds of clothes, but I love making different styles of trousers.”
The Fungai Education Centre is not only providing an education for the children in the community, it’s also providing them with a future, with the skills that they need to prosper and get the best start in their careers possible. It’s also having an even wider impact on the community by teaching the students’ parents, and anyone else who can benefit from the transformation that tailoring skills can provide.
Your support enables success stories like this. This is the impact that five sewing machines can have - they can provide training and transformation to an entire community.
Just £25 can cover the costs of collecting, refurbishing, and packing a sewing machine that will go to an organisation just like the Fungai Education Centre. You can help to provide a livelihood-creating machine to someone who will use it to transform their future.