Woontanara Aid Sewing School
Woontanara Aid started a sewing school at the Home for People with Disabilities in Conakry, Guinea in March of 2010.
♥ Our sewing school started with five teenage girls, one sewing machine and one teacher, Mr. Alama Sangare.
♥ Our students are girls and young women whose mother and/or father have a physical disability and are unable to work. Educating the young women of these families provides them with a marketable skill with which they will eventually be able to support themselves and their families.
♥ Guinea Expedition 2011/12 brought a growth spurt to our sewing school - we now train up to twenty young women and employ two full-time and various part-time teachers.
♥ We had our first Sewing School Graduate in fall of 2012. This young lady has moved away with her parents and is now making a living as a seamstress.
♥ We have also added a teacher’s apprentice program where advanced students learn and practice teaching skills.
The New Building: Woontanara Aid Sewing School Center
♥ Construction began in 2012 during our Guinea Expedition 2011/12. Here's a pre-roof photo from May 2012. Our fundraising push allowed us to get the metal roof on by June, just in the nick of time before Guinea’s rainy season.
♥ After the rainy season, we built a wheelchair ramp at the entrance, poured the inner floor and installed small windows. And there is so much left to do.
♥ We are now ready to build the storefront where students will be able to sell items in order to help sustain the school's needs. A welder has been hired to build large windows to be installed where you see that temporary yellow wall in front. These windows will open out onto the street making our products visible to the public.
♥ Next we plan to build a wall to separate the classroom from the store, and put in a faux ceiling that will act as insulation, keeping the heat at bay.
♥ Interior paint and finishing touches will allow us to move our classes into the building for our Grand Opening. And there is still more.
♥ Construction will continue alongside classes while our staff builds a humble bathroom, stuccos and paints the exterior and wires the building for electricity.
♥ If you would like to help us complete construction please visit our "Support Us" page where you can easily make a contribution.
New Program: Programme Aide Handicappes (PAH)
♥ This program invites people with disabilities (and their families) from all over Conakry to come to our new building and use our machines and facilities so they can sew clothing and accessories which they will sell.
♥ PAH participants may display and sell their items in our store.
♥ Participants will be helpful in sustaining our sewing school because they will donate a small portion of their sales to help cover the costs of our school's needs.
In Our Sewing School’s Future:
♥ Grand Opening of the Woontanara Aid Sewing School Center! (Date TBA)
♥ Add a variety of textiles courses
♥ Continuous growth of the number of students and staff
The Woontanara Aid Sewing School and PAH give priority to girls and women with disabilities and their families. We are not exclusive, however. Boys and men are also welcome.