African update – mainly about my dear tailors :)

December 1, 2011

 

TIA…how canit still surprise me?!

Today is such a lovely “cold”, that I even didn´t get sweaty…ehm maybe a bit. (a small meteorological window, just in case you were interested).

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments, it is so encouraging, especially in my small personal crisis… Well…I seemed to forget how actually not easy it is here. And being back in Europe I tend to look back on my photos of lovely sunny beaches, smiling me or smiling cute black babies…and forget the everyday reality.

Anyway, enough of moaning, I guess you are here to see the upgrade about the skirts project, hey?

It is a bit of a bitter sweet feeling that I have from my first visit in the “houses”. As I have said previously I went to two places, where the disabled people live and work: House of Jesus (wereMomoh is making the skirts – a nineteen years old chap, very nice and really talented) and House of Ecowas. Here the main tailor is Abdulai, who is an older gentleman (who would probably kill me for such a comment J) who trains people to become tailors.

First visit was to Ecowas. I knew lady Mariatu, who is a chairlady of that house, so all the organizing goes with her help. She looked pretty that day, a bit chubbier than last time (I suppose good news in Africa), with nice makeup, and a wig (a must – have of all Sierra Leonean ladies) – she was getting ready to give some speech somewhere, all happy to see us, of course. However the news waiting here for us was not all that good.

Ecowas house is not owned by the disabled community. So the owner decided they have to move away from the house. Fair enough, right?However the police seemed to approach it as a “proper gangster movie” and solve the situation with extreme brutality. So one day they came,threw the people out of their house – which has a very steep, wet and slippery staircase anyway, so imagine these peoplerunningdown on crutches, with prosthetics or leg braces! Also all possessions of the people were thrown out of a window: try to throw a sewing machine from a first floor and see what remains!

On top of that the people had to stay outside and sleep on the so called backyard, cuddled together in the rain, as this happened during the rainy season.

Unfortunately this action has left the people without any means and tools to work – the room, previously full of sewing machines, where sewing classes took place is now pretty empty – only a grandma and few kids sleeping on the floor. What can people do besides lay around and go begging to the streets? And how can I possibly blame them for just asking the filthy rich (which we really are, compared to them) man for money?

However,  Abdulai received my first order for a skirt (I had to wake him up, which I was too shy to do and had to ask one of the kids to do it for me) and offered to get it done by the next day, he also seemed pleased with the idea of making handbags (…ladies, anyone?). At the moment there are three machines left (there was more than twenty of them before) Abdulai can use them when the owners are not sewing.

 

Momoh

Disappointed and a bit sad I went to House of Jesus to see Momoh. He is my boy. He was so happy to see me, so happy from a small present that I have brought for him – he had tears in his eyes (and so didI), kept on repeating, how happy he was to see me, and asking how is everything.We agreed to meet next weekend, hehas something to show me (some of his WORK, you punks J) he was saying. But he was free only until noon, later he has to go to school.

And there is this guy, he lives in a slum, however he goes to school (most of the schools in Sierra are paid). And this is also thanks to you, people who bought the skirts. WE are not GIVING, the guy has earned his money. That´s why I have somuch hope for him! Oh and he proudly showed me the poster I made for him last time – even though surviving the rains left it rather unreadable.

Thank you

 

To see the skirt please look here:

https://sarkapechova1.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/sukne_1.jpg

https://sarkapechova1.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/sukne_2.jpg

and the fabrics plus an article (in Czech) https://sarkapechova1.wordpress.com/category/cesky/tia-3/

 

if you want to order one, please contact me@: s.pechova@yahoo.co.uk

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