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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three sisters, one goal

Advised by the NGO FACES to attend an Active Citizens training in 2010, three sisters, Rabia, Shazia, and Aseya Mola realised that they could give back to the community through the gift of teaching. Two of the sisters, Rabia and Shazia set up the Emmanuel Silai (sewing) Centre for needy women. The courses taught at the centre cover darning, sewing, embroidery, and design.

The motivation behind the sewing centre was that by providing vocational training to young girls and women, they can be taught the necessary skills to earn an independent living. The sisters believe that being skilled in a certain area enables individuals to face trying times with confidence and hope.

Since the women being trained at the sewing centre can barely afford one meal a day, buying items such as sewing machines, cloth, and supplies like thread and needles is inconceivable. Currently 17 women and girls attend the training. A portion of the income from a boutique Rabia and Shazia run is used to finance the sewing centre.

Aseya Mola is also doing her bit to give back to her community. As the only sister who is educated, she is running a free education centre for illiterate and poor women. According to Aseya, the reason behind starting an educational institution for women is that many places exist where young boys and men can seek an education, but such institutions are virtually non-existent for older women.

Says Aseya: “Many children in our community are uneducated who spend their time playing and running errands for others. Education is very important for such young children as it helps mould their personalities and is a beneficial asset for their bright futures. We want to serve the community by equipping the children with education”.
Presently 100 students are enrolled in the school with an approximate breakdown of 50 young girls and 50 women. The students are taught English, Urdu, Mathematics, Home Economics, and religious studies. Aseya goes on to say: “we are hoping our endeavours will bring a desirable change in our communities soon and more children will be inclined towards receiving education”.

Running free vocational and educational centres are challenging tasks, but Shazia, Rabia and Aseya have managed to get by without any external funding or volunteers to help them. As a result of their efforts they have gained acclaim and trust within their community.

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