ECM Libra Foundation in collaboration with Ma Te Sai, sponsored four impoverished Laos women to undergo sewing skills training at the Houey Hong Vocational Centre in Vientiane. Armed with this skill, these women would be able to sew for a living and hopefully be able to alleviate the economic situation of their families.

Developing business in TaiLue Villages Ban NaNyang Tai and Ban NaNyan Neua
Training women to sew at Houey Hong Vocational Centre

Our four candidates, Sengmany, Mae Sam, Chantee, and Douangchan completed two months of sewing training at Houey Hong Vocational Centre in Vientiane. The first week they arrived I went to see them.

They were all very nervous, except Chantee who is already a confident seamstress for Lao clothing. Mae Sam and Douangchan exclaimed “ We’re afraid!” I said “ What of, living in Vientiane, the big city?” “No,” they said, “afraid we won’t be able to sew nice products for you.”

The next time I saw them, two weeks later, they had nearly completed the month of sewing bags, cushion covers, and small products with Nola. There was no fear and the standard of sewing was very good, lining in cushion covers and zippers all neatly sewn.

At Houey Hong Centre they sewed six days a week, resting on Sundays. One Sunday we went on a day excursion around Vientiane as they had not visited the major temples of Vientiane.

They spent the next month with Kiam learning how to make jackets, dressing gowns, shirts, blouses and other more complicated patterns. For Chantee this was more broadening her ability by introducing western styles and some different techniques.

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