Introduction to Stitch Ahead

The Stitch Ahead Sewing Programme represents a transformative 3-month short course tailored to the needs of the most destitute youth aged 18 to 35 who hail from at-risk backgrounds. This programme offers a compelling avenue for self-improvement and empowerment through the art of sewing.

Each Stitch Ahead cohort is comprised of 15 students eager for an opportunity to learn a new skill, some with dreams of being designers and developing their own home-grown label. The curriculum covers the fundamental aspects of both hand and machine sewing, equipping participants with the skills to make a meaningful impact in two key areas. First, it empowers unemployed women with the essential sewing skills required to craft various products, including skirts, scrubs, reversible aprons and various sizes of bags for multiple uses, which they can then sell within their communities, thus generating a valuable source of income. In addition to these marketable items, participants also learn to create low-cost, washable, and reusable sanitary pads. This sustainable and eco-friendly alternative is a cost-effective option compared to the commercial alternatives that contribute to landfill waste. The ladies are proficient in crafting both hand-sewn and machine-sewn versions of these sanitary pads, designed in three different sizes to cater to varying needs.

Stitch Ahead is built upon the solid foundation of an intensive 2-week Lifeskills course, an integral component of our Waves of Change Programme. This Lifeskills course has a proven track record of creating powerful transformations and positive impact.

It is important to recognize that many women opt not to pursue maritime training offered through the Waves of Change Maritime Programme. This decision is often driven by the physically demanding nature of a seafaring career and due to their responsibilities as mothers, — they prefer  to not leave their small children behind. Stitch Ahead emerges as a community-based alternative tailored to address the specific needs of these women.

Upon successful completion of the sewing programme, participants have the opportunity to showcase their garments and handiwork during a graduation ceremony and a modest fashion show. This event serves as a platform for celebrating their accomplishments with the support of their families and well-wishers.

Support for future entrepeneurs

As part of their graduation package, participants receive fabric and haberdashery to aid in the creation of initial products for sale.

The programme concludes with a business development segment, offering further insights into brand creation, logos, and digital business establishment. This added layer of training ensures that participants not only possess the necessary skills but are also well-equipped for entrepreneurial success through the exploration of digital platforms from which to market and run a small business.