San Man Bhujel was a tailor in his home country; Radhika Homagai used to teach sewing in the Refugee Camp where she lived. This winter, the Community Connections Program received the generous donation of four sewing machines, plus fabric and materials from several community clubs. Getting San Man and Radhika to teach a sewing class seemed like the next natural step. Every weekend since January, sewing classes have been taking place at St. Andrew’s Community Centre. San Man and Radhika are sharing their skills to help others be more self sufficient. Participants are learning basic sewing techniques and have been making pillow cases as starter projects.
But these are not just sewing classes. San Man and Radhika are teaching the classes using English terminology they’ve been learning from local artisan Gia Greer. Gia has been volunteering her time to teach English, specifically sewing related language, to San Man and Radhika on Sunday mornings before their workshop. This way, when they use sewing techniques like backstitching, they can use the English terms to describe what the participants are learning. The goal is not just to pass on their skills, but for San Man and Radhika to become proficient enough in English sewing language to teach to a group outside their Nepalese Community.
There are only as many students as there are sewing machines – it is a popular workshop, and their is now a waiting list of participants!
The Community Connections Program enables participants to get involved in community groups and organizations so they can learn new skills, or share their skills with others.