FEDES vocational school provides courses for underprivileged women to learn to sew, thus empowering them by providing them with important skills to earn an income.
Students learn how to sew using three kinds of machines, home, industrial, and computerized, so that they can either make and sell their own clothes and linens or work in clothing manufacturing companies. They learn how to take measurements, make and follow patterns, and even how to fix their own sewing machine so that they can be self-sufficient.
Since many of the students of this course are single mothers, sewing skills allows them to make much-needed clothing at low cost for their families, as well as providing gainful employment.
Thanks to the Chilean governments SENCE program, students receive a subsidy on food and transport, and a sewing machine so that they can start work right away. FEDES also provides business management and marketing classes to assist them in their entrepreneurial efforts.
At the end of some courses the women even do a catwalk at the closing ceremony of their course to model the clothing they have made. Many of the graduates now have their own thriving micro businesses and bring a significant income to their families through the sale of their products.