November 28, 2023

The Sewing Center — A Good Future

Sr. M. Françoise Nimibona, Bujumbura

Presentation of Certificates in Burundi

In 2021, the community of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in Burundi (Central Africa) opened a school for sewing. It has the name

AKAZOZA KEZA – A Good Future.

The goal of the sewing center is to improve the lives of women and girls who have completed primary school, who would like to learn sewing as a profession, and who would like to improve the lives of their families.

Developing Personal Skills

In addition to the seamstress profession, there is training in community life, and the creativity, talents and abilities of each student are fostered. Poverty often hinders people from thriving and from growing in their faith. At the sewing center the women attain a positive vision. Each woman draws up a plan for financial independence and completes a project.

The Ceremony of Presenting the Certificates

The fourth group of women completed the training course and each woman or girl was presented with a certificate at a ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, the women, together with their families and other guests, attended a Holy Mass in thanksgiving. In his sermon, Father Dismas highlighted the importance of the profession of seamstress. He said: “You clothe heaven and earth. The Virgin Mary is beautifully clothed when she appears. She sewed for Jesus and clothed him.”

Likewise, he advised the women and girls not to work like other people in the world whose only goal is to make money at any cost but rather to remain honest, true, and just.

Gift of the Three Times Admirable Mother

Afterwards everyone took their seat in the main hall. Juliette Kavabuha took the floor, congratulated the graduates warmly, and gave them advice. She reminded them that this day is one of the gifts the Mother Thrice Admirable has given them and she implored the women and girls to radiate to their surroundings the spirit they received at this center. The center had not only trained them in sewing, but they had also received spiritual enrichment.

Expression of Joy

One of the 17 women who took this seamstress course then spoke, expressing her joy. She gave heartfelt thanks to those responsible at the Akazoza Keza Center and to the teacher who put her heart and soul into the project. She thanked the other students for the good atmosphere that prevailed among them during the past six months. As a token of her gratitude she gave them a picture of St. Joseph, who will be with them in their profession as seamstresses.

A Classroom Too Small

Then Sister M. Françoise addressed the guests. She shared how the idea of a sewing center originated. The community of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary noticed the misery in the country, especially in families, and that this misery threatened many women and girls in particular. Thereupon, the idea arose to establish this sewing center to support the women and girls who would want to learn to sew. She reported that the center has ten sewing machines but the classroom is very small and there are many more women who would like to learn.

At the end, the university students in Schoenstatt congratulated the graduates with dances. The celebration ended in great joy and with a refreshing beverage.

Photos: Sister M. Lisette Seiter, Bujumbura, Burundi