Graduation season is fast approaching for our four Seed of Hope centres. Although they are officially due to close at the end of this week for holidays, many of the second year students will be preparing for their Grade 2 Directorate of Industrial Training exams. After that, there is the final project to complete and then after graduation it will be time to set up their small businesses.
We thought it would be interesting to follow some of the students on this journey as they prepare to leave Seed of Hope and head out to start their own business.
Roselyn (18), Phoebe (18) and Salome (19) are second year students at our Nairobi centre. They are planning to open their business, “Perfect Dressmaking and Craft Shop”, in Kenyatta Market near Kibera. The girls were asked what difference they think the business will make to their lives. Salome was very quick to reply “It will help us be independent!” Phoebe and Roselyn are both looking forward to being able to help themselves and their families. They have younger siblings and would like to help ensure they get a good education.
The girls feel that they have learned a lot at Seed of Hope which will help them with their business. As well as the practical dressmaking and craft skills, they say their business skills will also help. “We’ve learned about market research, how to market our business, how to keep records and how to have a good relationship with customers. Our teachers are really encouraging us and so are our parents.”
Over the next few weeks, the second year students will be working on the designs for their final project. This involves designing and creating an outfit for their graduation ceremony. This year, the Nairobi students have been able to do a lot of research working with our volunteer, Esther, who is visiting from the UK. An exciting partnership with the ASOS Foundation means that the students have had access to iPads with internet access so Esther has been teaching them how to look up various fashion websites and then use the inspiration to create their own unique designs. They have also been looking at fashion magazines and Salome says the inspiration for her dress came from an actress on a Mexican soap opera she has been watching!
We asked Roselyn, Phoebe and Salome if they had any message for the people who will be supporting them and providing some of the capital to start up their small businesses. They said “Thank you for your support and we promise to be good girls and work hard in our business. May God bless you.” They are very excited about opening their business and say that in the future “it will grow if we put a lot of effort in.”
We look forward to following these girls through their graduation and on to the next phase of their journey towards independence.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this project via GlobalGiving. Thanks to you Phoebe, Roselyn, Salome and many more graduates from Seed of Hope face a brighter future.
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