Women entrepreneurs hone skills in patchwork


29-August-2011



Mrs Ramanjooloo putting the women entrepreneurs through their paces

This was during practical training sessions carried out over two days recently at the Mpower Centre at Bel Air.

Sadhana Ramanjooloo, the president of Magic Fingers Association, based in Rose-Hill Mauritius, conducted the training.

Mrs Ramanjooloo’s association comprises a dozen members and they are all specialists in patchwork and they have trained a lot of women in a number of countries in the region to fine-tune their skills in this art.

Mrs Ramanjooloo spent a week in Seychelles at the invitation of the Small Enterprise Promotion Agency (Senpa) through the newly set up Seychelles Association for Women Entrepreneur (Sawe).

While one group of women who followed the training is registered with Senpa, the other group is made up of mostly unskilled women, some of whom knew very little or nothing about patchwork. They are following a sewing and handicraft programme initiated by the International Friendship League.

Mrs Ramanjooloo said they have been very fast learners and they are all eager to muster as much skills as possible so that they can later make their own products to sell.

Back in Mauritius Mrs Ramanjooloo said her association has trained many disabled women who are now earning their living through their own small enterprises set up after they had received  proper training which has given them skills.

Mrs Ramanjooloo, who was a guest at the launching of Sawe, displayed some of the patchwork made by members of the Magic Fingers Association.

During the training here the women have not only improved their knowledge in what they know in patchwork but they have fine-tuned their techniques, learn to make new products like quilt bed covers, cushion covers, bags, tea cosy, place mats, stuffed soft toys, wall hanging, needle holders and many more.

In Mauritius the Magic Fingers Association works closely with the Ministry of Environment because it uses a lot of material from the waste trimmings and cuttings of the garment sector.

“In Seychelles also there is an abundance of raw material with all the tailors and seamstresses around,” Mrs Ramanjooloo said.

She noted that the women need not buy the raw material they need as these are being thrown away in bulks every day.

On her advice, the women have already secured large amounts of cloth pieces for their work which they expect to continue producing after Mrs Ramanjooloo left.

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