Pamila’s dressmaking shop is well cared-for and inviting: lively, bright fabrics and sample dress designs catch the eye and welcome customers into the small space, formerly a family living room. The store is separated from the back of the house by a large curtain, behind which is hidden is a humble bedroom sparsely furnished with a cabinet and a bed, made of two small beds pushed together, on which her family of five sleeps.
Pramila lives with her husband and three daughters. She does not own her own property and found it difficult to supplement her husband’s meager wages as a traditional metal tool repairman, also called an “Aaron”, to provide for her family’s needs. Even though she worked for a daily wage, Pramila’s family was barely scraping by when she heard about a vocational training opportunity provided by the Women’s Protection Center (WPC Nepal), applied, and was selected for training. Upon completing her six-month course, which focused on job-skills training and small business mentorship, she used her new skills to establish a tailoring business in her home. Thankfully, she has her husband’s enthusiastic support.
In addition to small business training, WPC Nepal provided Pramila with a standard sewing machine to get her business started. She now finds her work requires an interlock sewing machine to make stitches able to withstand heavy wear-and-tear and properly finish her projects. As a result of her hard work, WPC decided to supply her with the needed interlock machine so she can continue to grow and thrive.
With the profits from her store, Pramila purchased display wall shelves and a large display case that also functions as a work surface. These pieces are attractive and useful, and also speak to her professionalism and commitment to establish a successful business. For example, Pramila arranged an agreement with her fabric supplier: she keeps a selection of fine fabrics at her shop but only pays the vendor after she sells a garment using the fabric. This keeps her upfront costs low and offers her customers a wider variety of products, a clever way to bring in business, meet demand, diversify supply, and avoid an overstock of unneeded materials.
If you walked into the store today you would see two sewing machines sitting side-by-side. Not content to keep her WPC vocational training to herself, Pramila is teaching her sister everything she knows. WPC Nepal is proud to see this beautiful ripple effect, because when empowered women lift up other women the whole community flourishes. Once Pramila’s sister learns everything she can, she too will use her sewing machine to build a better life for her family.
Find out how you can support women like Pramila and her sister through the WPC vocational training program, please visit https://www.friendsofwpcnepal.org/job-training-solve-human-trafficking/