Charlestown-Nevis—Wednesday 14th September was a very significant day in the lives of some of the women on Nevis.
It was the graduating exercise of the sewing class which was coordinated by the Single Parents support group, of the Social Services Department.The ceremony which was held at the Red Cross headquarters at Chapel Street, was capably chaired by Miss Lydia Lawrence of the Single parents support group.
In her opening remarks, she sought to establish the workings of the group, which include but are not limited to: Making annual awards to two students at the Primary school level; making a number of text books available for secondary school students between first and third forms; monetary contribution to an institution or needy member of the community; regular monthly meetings; quarterly round table discussions and skills training projects.
The money to fund the various projects is acquired through sacrificial fund raising efforts.
The invocation was delivered by Miss Marigold Wilkinson and this was followed by a brief address by the Director of the Social Services Department, Mrs. Sandra Maynard.She especially saluted the participants and the Facilitator of the sewing class, Miss Mavis Parris. She also took time out to reiterate some of the significant contributions of the single parents support group, throughout the years. She also noted that one new addition to their activities, is an annual picnic for group members.
She then asked Coordinator of the group, Mrs. Grace Manners to stand for a rapturous round of applause, for her tremendous contribution to the success of the group.
One of the graduates, Ms. Michelle Burke, gave an overview of the class. She opined that all women, should learn to sew and expressed appreciation for the group for making it possible for her to learn.
She pointed to some of the valuable lessons taught by the Facilitator and some of her famous quotes, such as: “Learning to sew will keep money in your pocket and keep it out of other people’s pockets.’
“Use your skills to earn money” and “worn clothes can be recycled.’
She noted that they learnt different types of stitches and were able to make five different pieces: cushions; reversible fabric bags; aprons; elastic waist skirts and straight skirts.
They were also taught how to have control over the machine and be consistent in their sewing.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, made the point that ‘small seeds can lead to big trees.’He used two success stories to illustrate his point:
1. The journey of CAMPUS DESIGNS, which started with a mere four university students, even though one dropped out, who started with designing T-shirts on a small scale in 1986, with returns of $10,000.00 and by 1989 they were raking in up to 330,000.00.
2. He also referred to youthful Kittitian designer, Yakima Daniel, who made world news during the 2016 Olympics, for successfully creating the designs for the uniforms for the St. Kitts- Nevis representative contingent, which was adjudged in the top twenty-two best dressed nations.
Facilitator Parris in her remarks, stated that teaching is her passion and dream and she relishes in teaching others what she knows. She says she was initially motivated many years ago, when Father Allison Percival mentioned during one school assembly session, that the burial ground is the richest place, as too many people refuse to share their skills and take them there. She then vowed that such would not be her legacy.
She encouraged the participants to invest in a sewing machine and make the best of their new found skills.
Coordinator of the single parents support group, Mrs. Grace Manners, then assisted Mr. Keith Glasgow with the presentation of certificates to the deserving participants.
The vote of thanks was presented by Miss Trecia Mills.