Plans for 2022

  • We want to provide the first year of training in weaving, tailoring, or leather work as part of a multi-year program for our 72 currently enrolled students
  • We want all of our staff to receive a living wage
  • We doubled the number of students in October 2021 without adding any equipment. We need more tables, chairs, sewing machines, and hand tools so that none of our students waste time waiting for tools and equipment to become available.
  • We want to provide literacy training for any students who need it.
  • We want to complete a survey on our recent graduates to document their current employment situation and evaluate the effectiveness of our training.
  • We want to convert the weaving from traditional looms to floor looms to improve productivity and ergonomics. We want to bring a trainer from the US to show the weaving instructor how to use these types of looms. We have identified a trainer who is willing to donate her time in exchange for some training on traditional Nigerien weaving techniques. We are working to secure funding for her travel and lodging expenses.
  • We would like to develop a program in partnership with Niger’s national fistula clinic that would start in 2023. We want to train their patients in tailoring and give them sewing machines, so that when they return to their villages they have a way to make a living.
  • We would like to develop a program with Niger’s national handicapped association that would start in 2023. We would like to train 30 of their clients in leather working.
  • We want to augment the tailoring program with training in making home furnishings.
  • We would like to try a pilot program out in a rural area. A village has approached us about providing their women’s association with training in making soap. We have identified a potential instructor.
  • We would like to continue helping to develop the leather working cooperative and to start weaving and tailoring cooperatives. Our goal is to help any of our graduates who want to be self-employed have access to equipment and a workshop if they need it.
  • We want to provide marketing assistance to artisans, in part to make sure our graduates are able to earn a living. Our main priority this year is learning to do effective product photography. We also plan to do some new product development.
  • We hope to receive accreditation from the Nigerien Ministry of Education. This will allow our certificates to be used as proof of training around the country when our graduates apply for jobs and should make us eligible for funding from various government agencies.