Classes in tailoring continue to be one of the most popular classes offered in AIL’s Women Learning Centers. After six months of intensive study, the women are able to sew their own clothes and also sew for others. Their skill helps their families because it decreases the amount that must be paid to outside tailors and, in some cases, allows the woman to earn money for her family by sewing clothes of neighbors and relatives.
There is an added benefit for the women coming for the tailoring classes as most also then take literacy classes and learn to read and write. While in their tailoring class, they are also taught about health, human rights and peace while they sew.
In 2007, there have been more than 900 women studying in tailoring classes in the Kabul, Balkh and Herat Provinces and in AIL’s Women’s Learning Centers in Peshawar, Pakistan.
Following is the story of one woman who came to AIL’s Women’s Learning Center as written and translated by one of the AIL staff members. The story shows not only how beneficial the sewing class was but also how the literacy and other classes were of benefit to her:
• “When I became aware of this center [AIL’s Center], I came and started learning in the sewing class but because I was illiterate I could not pass so I decided to go to the literacy class and besides that I got admission in the embroidery class. After I passed the 2nd grade, again I got admission in the sewing class. This time I could pass the course with an excellent score. Now I am able to sew clothes with good designs and embroidery and through it I have a good income for myself and my family.”