Skip to main content

Embroidery Project at Centre Guilgal Orphanage

Two posts in one day. Can you dig it? I'm going to be wicked busy for the next few days and I want to share the little write-up I did for my office about the women's shelter that does the embroidery.

At the Centre Guilgal in Bujumbura, girls and young women are learning a craft to secure their futures: Embroidery. Thanks to the collaboration of Margriet Zuure-Stolk and Suzanne Nyanzahe, the young women are creating beautiful fabrics to sell, including tablecloths, napkins, and pillowcases.

“I was roaming the streets and hardly ever had any food before I arrived at the orphanage,” Jeanine says. Thanks to the Centre Guilgal and the efforts of Margriet and all the people who buy the lovely tablecloths Jeanine will soon be living independently.

Suzanne started the Centre Guilgal in 1995 to help give homes to children orphaned by the war. But the children needed more than just a home—they needed skills that could help them gain independence. The boys were taught carpentry and the girls took up sewing.

“When I visited the orphanage for vulnerable girls and boys I saw two girls working hard, learning to sew and embroider,” said Margriet. “But what next? The centre had a problem. After the formation there was no money to let the girls move towards an independent life. I thought it would be a good idea to let them embroider tablecloths which then could be sold. From the money all my friends, colleagues, and family paid for the tablecloths I bought sewing machines. Since then the centre has received a considerable order. We started with two girls, now there 35 girls working on all the orders and 26 have their own sewing machines.”

The girls not only learn how to embroider and sew but they also learn about production, selling, and marketing, bookkeeping and other self-supporting skills, and English.

Margriet continues, “What is so wonderful about this project is that it gives young girls and women a chance at a new future. The tablecloths (serviettes, pillowcases, placemats, etc.) are truly beautiful and have been embroidered with much love and dedication. Everyone who sees them is wildly enthusiastic.”

“Create your own tablecloth” is the slogan at Guilgal. Custom-made items can include animals, palm trees, and Burundian women.

Pillowcases
More photos at flickr.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Acid Bug

My blog will now join the short list of results that pop up when you search for "nairobi fly, acid bug" on Google. Mike was hit by one over the weekend.
The Nairobi fly is a small beetle that does not bite or sting, but based on its nickname acid bug, guess what it does? The insides of the bug are toxic, and if you smack it against your skin the juices cause a burning rash. They are common throughout East and Central Africa, and it's the season for them here in Burundi. We think Mike and his friend rode through a swarm of them on their bikes over the weekend, because his friend has some burn spots, too, and the spots appeared on both of them after they returned from the ride.
We've heard of two remedies to soothe the burning, but Mike hasn't tried either yet. One is to use toothpaste, the old-school white kind, and the other is to cut a potato and rub it on the burn area. Both the toothpaste and the potato are supposed to draw out the acid. If you wash the area imm…

Follow-up to My Previous Post

Kiddo likes to wear cool jewelry and those shirts that have the sequins that have a color or design in one direction and a different color or design in the other direction. I want her to express herself and feel comfortable with her fashion choices. I do not want other kids grabbing her pendants or touching her sequins uninvited.

I feel guilty over an incident at the bus stop this morning. Kiddo was wearing a cool pendant and a little boy her age ran up and touched it because he thought it was cool, too. And neither Kiddo nor I said anything. It did cross my mind to say something. But so did: Kiddo didn’t say anything and her body language didn’t give me any clues toward her comfort level. Was she simply surprised, but not bothered? Or was she annoyed? I didn’t want to cause a scene with a seven-year-old child. (This kid is loud.) I didn’t want to cause a scene with his mother. (She scolds her kids all the time but it doesn’t seem to stop any of their grabby behavior.)

In the past I …

Book Review: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey

After you've read something, please consider leaving a line or two on Goodreads and Amazon. The authors appreciate it!

Here's my review as it appears on Goodreads.

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked this book in the beginning. I grew up in an old haunted house in New England, yet I'm always a skeptic. (99% of supernatural activity ends up being the wind or a cat — and cats are creepy as hell.) I liked reading the stories behind the stories, whether they debunked the legends or gave credence to them. I’ve always been interested in history and nonfiction and ghost stories are the old “fake news.” Entertaining but you shouldn’t necessarily take them at face value. As the book went on, I found the stories themselves no less interesting but the format became tedious.

A couple of the stories really stood out to me. There are many cases of ghost stories being used to control a narrative that makes people feel sa…