It all started three months ago with the first screening of applicants for the sewing class to be held at CLC Titian Tangerang Selatan (CLC Tangsel). The screening was necessary to assess the commitment of the applicants for a two-hour weekly course. Fifteen women made the cut and started sewing lessons every Wednesday.
Mrs Wiwin, whose son, Sahrul, is Generation 1 of the Tangsel Scholarship Programme and a seamstress herself, offered to teach the class. All the women seemed to ‘step on the gas’ from that moment on.
Three months later, these women can now make patchwork cosmetic pouches, short pants and soon hijabs. Within that short period of time, the togetherness and bond forged through these sewing sessions made them more bold and self-assured. It became a vehicle for self-discovery. How so? Their elected group head set some rules. They allocated time for evaluation at the end of each class, assessing not only progress of their sewing skills, but also their individual development, whether each person in the group was being responsible, committed, confident and a team player. A small cash contribution was also made in every meeting for buying cloths and other group purposes.
The sewing class added a different dimension to these women’s daily lives as housewives and enabled them to earn extra income along the way. When the improvement in the women’s self-esteem is considered, the impact is likely to permeate their whole family.
Just as Titian urges its scholarship beneficiaries to dream big, these women also did not shy away from dreaming big. They dreamed of building a substantial business capable of mass producing a range of products and hoped that there will be more training in the future to complement their aspirations. (NF)