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Schoenstatt
Apostolic Movement

Women graduate as tailors/seamstresses in Burundi

By: Schoenstatt Movement/ Burundi - Academics / Famille du Calice

On Friday, August 6, 2021, a ceremony was held at the “Queen of Confidence” Center of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Bujumbura, Mont-Gikungu, Burundi, to present certificates to the course participants who had completed vocational training as tailors/seamstresses at the Akazoza Keza Center. After six months, 20 girls and unemployed women have completed the sewing training with great enthusiasm.

The “Akazoza Keza” center was inaugurated on February 6, 2021 by the Sisters of Mary, supported by the Schoenstatt Academics from Germany.

In Burundi, the school system offers practically no direct access to a profession. In general, vocational training is insufficient. Since poverty is a major factor that prevents people from developing their skills, being able to earn a living and stand on their own feet, the center wants to help the course participants to develop their personal skills, give them access to professional life through training, and also offer them the possibility to grow in faith.

 

The aim is to teach unemployed girls and women how to make clothes so that they can learn a practical trade with which to earn a living.

The certificate awarding ceremonies opened with a Holy Mass celebrated by Abbé Nicolas, professor at the Major Seminary of Bujumbura. In his homily he congratulated the Sisters of Mary and the graduates. He advised them to always be aware that they are serving Christ by helping people to dress well. May the Virgin Mary be their model in their service to society.

The Mass was followed by the presentation of testimonies where Mrs. Juliette, from the Schoenstatt Academics of Burundi, welcomed the participants.

Two young women from the same community contributed to the celebration’s success and to a joyful atmosphere with their dancing.

Sr. M. Lisette, Sr. M. Françoise and the sewing course instructor, Mrs. Adèle, as well as other members of the project staff, then presented the certificates. Mrs. Adèle had words of praise for each participant. One of them had a two-month-old baby and persevered despite the many chores and busy schedules with her family. Another participant found it very difficult to use the sewing machine, she went to the Schoenstatt Shrine to entrust everything to the Virgin Mary.

The graduates then thanked the Sisters and their instructor. The celebration concluded with a speech by Sr. M. Françoise, who congratulated the course participants for remaining faithful throughout the six months, thanked the instructor for her perseverance in teaching and, finally, all those who, from near and far, had contributed to the success of the project, including the Academics from Germany.

Sr. M. Françoise expressed her hope that the course graduates who had just received their certificates would be able to move on and leave unemployment behind. She noted that this would encourage everyone to continue this training so that others could join as well. After the ceremony there were many photos to be taken of the dresses they had sewn themselves.

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