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PAK01c - Sewing Centre - Faisalabad : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: April 30, 2019

Report from BHW Pakistan Partnership Facilitator Following Visit in March

Key Person: Azam Gill


Numerous courses have operated in this area. We have visited all of the programmes before and were able to visit some again this time. All have been completed and no more funding is required. 

made a difference

Recent Events

Village #152 GB, Bhaindian

Alia is the trainer and a number of the graduates came to visit us as we were visiting. They are so happy with the outcomes of the training and the difference it has made in their lives. They all wore articles of clothing they had made themselves. 


real changeVillage #321 GB

I have visited this village twice before and we came across a great outcome this time. After the last visit, Azam and I were a little discouraged with the group. But Shekila, the leader, has got eight girls together she has trained and they have started an embroidery business that is keeping them well employed and earning good incomes. She also wants to run another course and it has so inspired some of them that they want to form together as a church and are asking for a pastor. There are more than 50 Christians in that village and they don’t meet together or get any input.


base villageVillage #322 GB, Shazada

This is the base village from which the other sewing programmes have grown. There is no course here now and many of the women trained have gone on to get quite good jobs in factories in Faisalabad. Some graduates came to meet us and were very happy with the outcomes. They want more courses but we don’t feel there is a need to do any more in this village. 


Adult literacy, Faisalabad (PAK05a)

real impactWhile in Shazada village we met the leader of the adult literacy and almost all the men who participated in the programme. It has obviously had an impact. Of the people in the picture only two of them cannot read fluently and Iqbal, the teacher, third from left, is still tutoring them although the course has finished. 

They were all very happy to be able to read. However, the question has to be asked, how much reading do they do out there in the village? Frankly, I don’t see this as hugely strategic and do not think any more of this should be done without more input into where it is done and how it is set up.  


Sewing in Rawat (PAK01a)

lots keen to learnThis is quite confusing and reveals Azam’s lack of ability to make hard decisions. We have finished the funding for this however Azam continues to rent the building in Rawat and is attempting to run another sewing course, funding it himself. They have people wanting to learn but it’s only running because he cannot say no to anyone or recognise when it’s time to stop. 

Many of the women move away from the area as they get married so there are graduates from this course spread out around many parts of Pakistan. Some have started businesses, some are teaching sewing and all of them are working at home. 


Sewing in Wazir (PAK01d)

with certificatesThe sewing programme finished there towards the end of 2018. While we were there we presented certificates to the 10 women who had completed the course. These certificates give them the opportunity to get a job if they so desire. However, most will never work in formal jobs as their parents and husbands will not allow them to work outside the home. 

Azam is trying to start another programme without funding but we suggested that it was not a good idea. Unless there is adequate funding and unless they get a sewing machine at graduation there is little point in training them. 


Personal Stories

Here are some interviews with women we met at village #322 GB Shazada. 

better future nowMuquadus and Saima

Both these ladies graduated the sewing project in the last year. They both live with their parents and work from home sewing clothes for women who bring fabric to them to sew garments. 

Muquadus is 22 years old and was brought up in Islamabad before moving here five years ago. She is educated to class 5. She now earns PKR2,000 (US$14) per week. Saima is 18 years old and has no education. She currently earns PKR1,500 (US$10) per week.

Before the sewing program they both were at home but since training in the sewing class they now sew for clients approximately four hours per week and help out around the house the rest of the day. They are happy and said it is good to be earning money. Their earnings go toward groceries and rent.

They sew their own clothes with money their father gives them. They believe their future will be better now they can sew but they do not have any hopes for the future. One of these girls uses a machine that belongs to her mother - the other borrows from a relative. They would both love their own machine.


loves sewingZeba

Zeba is 16 years old and lives with her parents and three siblings. Her father is a carpenter and their family is very poor.

Zeba attended school for five years and she didn't like it. Her dream for her future is to work in a shop selling her own clothes. She learnt sewing three years ago at the sewing programme. She loves sewing clothes and would love to work in a big factory. Unfortunately, her father won’t allow her to work outside their home. This makes her feel very sad. So Zeba sews clothes for herself and her family.



thankful for opportunityNageen is 20 years old and lives with her mother, sister, brother, sister-in-law and nephews. Her father died recently.

She attended school for five years and her favourite subject was English. Last year Nageen completed her sewing training. She is very thankful for that opportunity. She loved hearing about God at the classes. One thing she learnt and appreciates is to love God and love others.

If she could choose a career she would like to be a policewoman so she could help people. If she could help change things in her country she would like to see bribery and corruption dealt with. Also, she would like to see women respected, listened to and to have some independence.

She is not able to have a job outside her home. She sews clothing for her family and neighbours. The small income helps with the family needs.


thankful for opportunity


Kirok is 24 years old and has eight sisters and one brother. She attended sewing classes two years ago and is very thankful for the opportunity. After finishing training she was able to get employment in a sewing factory in Faisalabad where she was earning more than US$200/month. 

Kirok attended school for six years. She is now married and lives with her husband's family. She is a Christian and so is her husband and his family. Now she is married she is working in the shop of her husband's family. She is not allowed to work outside the home. 

She sews clothes for herself when she is not busy with housework and cooking. She would love to see the poor people helped in Pakistan. It makes her sad to know so many people are suffering and uneducated.


Ideas for the Future

While in the area we visited a number of villages that Azam would like to run sewing courses. As we talked with them and listened to them interacting with the village people it became obvious that they want to do this and that there is a real opportunity. It also became obvious that Azam struggles to set up the sewing projects in a sustainable way and we are looking at a better way of structuring them. 



These courses make a huge difference to the individual, the family and the community so they are a good idea. However, if we are to do more there would need to be much more input into the structure and monitoring.