Carolyn came to Neema in 2013, looking for an opportunity to point her life in a new direction. She is the youngest of 12 kids, but only went to school through 8th grade. She became a mother at 15, and was granted the new responsibility of caring for her daughter Sharon. She spent three years helping at home and raising her daughter before coming to Neema.
Carolyn exudes a quiet confidence and is a determined young woman. She excelled during her 2 years at Neema, learning all that she could about the skill of dress-making, nurturing her daughter, and understanding her identity in Christ.
Carolyn graduated in 2014, but continued at Neema in early 2015 to serve as a student leader assisting the dressmaking instructors in the classroom. Upon completing a 3 month internship in a local shop, she approached the Neema In Country Director with a plan to launch her own business and was requesting Neema's help to get started.
She had a desire to own a dressmaking business. If she had a machine, she could begin working from her mud hut in the village. So the Neema leadership worked with her to develop a payment plan where she makes monthly installments to rent her starter machine. That was all she needed to get her business up and running- a $150 sewing machine.
On a recent visit, we found Carolyn busy working in her home. She had at least 8 dresses on order with beautiful fabrics lined up waiting to be turned into custom fitted dresses. She was thrilled to share with us her dream to see her small business one day expand into a shop in the market place and the ability to hire other women to work with her.
Her determination to provide for herself and her daughter have pushed her to work and make use of the skill she learned while at Neema. She is now able to provide a nurturing home for Sharon and is able to pay to send her to the local primary school as well. Not only has her physical and financial position changed, she is also recognized as a leader in her community. She has been entrusted with a youth leader position in her church, where she is not only growing spiritually, but is able to help provide guidance for other young women in the community.
We are so proud of Carolyn and her commitment to the process of counseling, discipleship, and skills training. Her life is transformed because of her willingness to learn and grow. Her heart to offer help to others has us feeling truly grateful for the opportunities we have to invest in lives who will go and invest in others.
Continue praying strength and courage for Carolyn and her daughter Sharon! Thank you for your partnership and investment in the lives of Carolyn, and the other Neema girls.