Linet, a nineteen year old Elimu sewing student, is a force to reckon with. After completing her primary education her dreams were shattered with no hope for future studies. There was no money to take her to secondary school, forcing her to drop out! Defying inherited social norms and practices of being married off by her parents, Linet stood tall and chose to hope for a better tomorrow despite dropping out of school. She requested her mother to at least take her to an institution where she could learn sewing skills, since that is where her passion lies.

Joining Heri Sewing College was the beginning of her journey to success. Linet, who is now a second year student, has been sponsored by Elimu and now her college fees are being catered for. Not only has she learnt sewing skills but she has also gained basic computer skills from a program that saw her coming to Elimu Resource Centre every week for computer lessons and entrepreneurship training, that is before the college was closed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

“Someday all you will have to light your way will be a single ray of hope and that will be enough.”

The COVID-19 pandemic brought fourth massive disruption leading to closure of institutions and businesses. Linet laments how the pandemic has slowed down her progress because she was very eager to complete her course this year. “I was really looking forward to finishing college this year because I can’t wait to have my own workshop” she said. Linet was part of a small group of sewing students and graduates who returned to the college for several weeks for an income generating opportunity to sew face masks for a local entrepreneur. So dedicated and determined was she, that she ended up sewing the highest number of masks and earned herself some good income. “I hope that once we are done with this project, another one pops up because I do not want to go back home. There is no way to make money at home. And, right now I am the sole provider and bread winner of our family and everyone is looking to me,” she said. Even before her completion and graduation from the sewing college, Linet is already a bread winner – this is both a sign of hope and a burden to her especially while she is still a student and not yet able to earn a regular income! When she graduates from Elimu’s Sewing Program she will be given her own sewing machine to use to start her own business and will start gaining a regular income. It is for girls like Linet that Elimu runs our sewing project transforming them from girls with no say in their future to valued bread winners. We pray that next year she can successfully complete her sewing course and head back home empowered with skills and confidence and equipped with a sewing machine ready to start up her own business. That is also what Linet is really looking forward to!


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Elimu empowers learners to increase academic and digital literacy, improve school retention and encourage self-sustainability through employment planning and entrepreneurship. 

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