Young girls in Liberia are learning vital life lessons under the auspices of a sewing machine. Through the Bosh Bosh Project, a tote bag, a wristlet or a clutch is only a small component of what the teenage girls participating in the project create. They’re also creating a future for themselves in a country where 73 percent of the children are denied access to education—80 percent of which are girls. Bosh Bosh, an African colloquial term describing fabrics that are sewn together, was founded by Peace Corps volunteer Charlene Espinoza with the goal of keeping girls in schools and teaching them healthy and valuable life skills. Sales from the purchase of a Bosh Bosh product go directly towards full education scholarships and stipends for participating students.
Bosh Bosh is an extension of the Salala Girls Club serving students ages 15-26 years of age. In addition to enabling students to pursue their education, the organization also teaches valuable life skills through workshops on family planning, health, HIV/AIDS, business practices, and women’s rights. Young women are empowered and encouraged to become both entrepreneurs and leaders within their community through education.
Sewing classes are offered twice weekly and a professional tailor from the nearby community assists students on how to sew by hand and on the machines. The textiles used to produce each product are sourced from surrounding area and neighboring countries as well. This program has seen success in the changing attitudes of the young girls who are becoming more confident, improving their study habits and staying engaged in school.
“The girls and all other participants understand the importance of their own education and want to have a better future,” state the Bosh Bosh team on their website. “Through The Bosh Bosh Project we hope to teach them a new skill, and motivate and encourage them to become not only ambitious and successful students, but future ambitious and successful Liberian leaders.”
via The Culture-ist
Images via Bosh Bosh Project Facebook