On May 1, the Rising Village Board of Directors voted to begin the Refugee Sewing Enterprise (RiSE) in Tulsa, a local program, that will provide sewing lessons and income opportunities for refugee and immigrant women who live in the Tulsa area. RiSE will be an addition to our ongoing work in Ghana. We are not replacing, but expanding!
Women who choose to participate in the program will enter either an introductory, intermediate, or artisan class with an instructor, where they will commit to ten-weeks of learning or advancing their skills with an income-earning component for the intermediate and artisan groups.
ELL (English Language Learning) will be interwoven with the sewing lessons as students learn sewing terms, and converse in English with their instructor.
When a student has attended 10 classes, she'll be able to purchase her own machine for $10. She can choose to purchase her sewing machine at any time, using class credits.
Advanced students choose to work on products that will be offered at the Rising Village online store or at craft fairs and pop-up events. Students receive 80% of the profit, with 20% going back into the program to purchase supplies.
Women will be offered opportunities to learn about marketing and financial literacy as they improve their sewing skills.
WHY A LOCAL PROGRAM?
Although our primary work is done in Ghana with single mothers and vulnerable children, we recognize that we cannot live in a community and ignore the needs that present themselves here in our own neighborhood. We waited until we felt like we could identify a specific need that fits into our mission. It has been five years since Rising Village began in Ghana, and we believe the time is right to begin local work with women in our community who need access to skills training and income opportunity.
As we have talked with many women in the refugee community, we know that an additional need met through this program will be the social aspect of helping women assimilate into our community and build relationships with other women in the refugee community. Isolation is a danger, as the language keeps many women from venturing away from their home or apartment. The social component of RiSE will be important for women as they seek to move into wider circles within our community.
WANT TO HELP US LAUNCH AND SUSTAIN THS PROGRAM?
Here are some immediate and ongoing needs:
Fabric. We're accepting donations of all types of fabric so we can begin assessing and placing students into the appropriate class levels on June 6. To arrange a donation call 918.578.9217.
Volunteers. Childcare workers for 5 and under. Tutors and reading partners for 6 -12 year-olds (summer only.) One day a week for two hours, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or 1p.m.-3 p.m.
Storage Cabinet. Any type of sturdy utility cabinet to store sewing supplies and fabric. To arrange a donation call 918.578.9217.
Sewing Supplies. Shop our Amazon Wish List
Donations to our Sewing Machine Fund. To fund the bulk of the cost of a machine upon completion of 10 class sessions. Donate here.
To sign up to volunteer or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 918.578.9217