A sewing and knitting vocational school was started to help teenage girls who had dropped out of the education system due to the fact that their families were unable to pay the fees or, more frequently, because they had become pregnant and had babies to look after. In recent years this school has developed into secondary education of a broader nature teaching literacy, maths and French as well as nutrition, hygiene, pregnancy and conception.
There is a three-year curriculum for 13-18 year old girls and there are presently over 50 girls being educated. Over half of these girls are successful in completing the education programme.
A key dimension of the programme remains the training of the girls in sewing and knitting skills. This gives the possibility of the establishment of a small cottage industry after graduation. As a result of further development of the school infrastructure, a course in home economics is being introduced. There is now a fully equipped kitchen and preparation benches to enable the young girls to learn about international and local cuisine. This will be very advantageous as there are openings for cooks in different environments.
While the academic goals are limited, they are nevertheless transformational. A three-year course that equips a girl to read, write, sew and cook gives the basics required to raise finance for the family.