Friday, November 30, 2012

Mabiniti Training Center

Last Wednesday, we went on a field trip to visit the Mabinti Center with Ms. McKillip's class. Mabinit is a training centre for women recovering from fistula surgery. Fistula is an injury that occurs during child-birth. The center takes women in and trains them in sewing, beading and screen printing and then, when the women graduate, Mabinti gives them a starter kit for them to go an start a business of their own in their home village. Click here to learn more information about the center.

Katia and the Mabinti women (and one man- the screen printing teacher) were so welcoming. The students arrived and first sat in the shade of a tree and learned about the center. Katia prepared us for the visit by assigning stations and the kids were off to learn and explore.
My class began with the screen printing. Ms. Katia explained that the center chose screen printing because there is not a lot of supply available in Dar. It is a relatively easy, but "new" art for local crafters. She talked about the materials needed and the process. She even showed us some samples and some new items they are creating for the local holiday markets in Dar over the next few weeks.

Then the kids got to scoop, spread, press and pull the paint through the screens to create an image of their own. They got to choose from a few prints and it was definitely the highlight of the field-trip for many students.

Next we went to the beading station and watched the women make Binti Dolls. The kids were fascinated by the time and effort it takes to complete one doll. The teacher, Helena can make one in an hour and about 5 a day! Imagine the commitment the women must show and the challenge they must face learning to make these tiny dolls.

Next we visited the production room. This is where the goods produced for the shop are made. All of the women training have to graduate to be hired in the production shop. It was nice to see the smiling faces working away on the sewing machines making bags from recycled plastic banners. Cody gave me a bag last year from Mabinti and I did not even know where it came from until months after I received it. 
Then the students got to sit down with a business woman and ask her questions about starting a business. Since they are starting their own businesses now, the questions they asked were so thoughtful, considerate and applicable to their learning.
Lastly, the class got to go inside and learn about the Mabinti business plan from one of their staff members. The kids learned all about business plans, supply and demand, production cost, overhead and profit. The students were so well behaved and asked such great questions. I was impressed. It was one of the best field-trips I have ever been on and I send my gratitude and thanks to everyone at Mabinti.

1 comment:

  1. hello, where is located mabinti centre in dar es salaam, pease can i have the phone contact and email..thank u. michelangela