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SACSS celebrates graduates in women’s tailoring program
South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS) celebrated the second graduating class of Stitch with SACSS on Wednesday, Jan. 10.
State Assembly Member Nily Rozic attended the ceremony to present certificates to nine women in recognition of their achievement for completing the four-day, 10-week tailoring program that teaches South Asian immigrant women the skill of sewing while gaining financial independence.
(From l. to r.) Padmavathi Kommera, Amina Ahmed, SACSS Executive Director Sudha Acharya, M. Sita Rama Lakshmi, Nitaben Suthar, State Assembly Member Nily Rozic, Manjuben Darji, Meenakshi Jhaveri, Rema Venu, Amina Rasheed, Khemwantie Boadnarine and Akhi Akter
In support of starting their small business, SACSS gifted each student a sewing machine.
In her remarks, Rozic congratulated the women saying, “Ten weeks is a long time and a big commitment, and I’m very proud of you. Mothers, sisters, daughters, we know we can do anything and there’s a whole social media world out there ready to buy your clothing.”
The Assemblywoman also presented SACSS with a $50,000 check that will support SACSS’ Food pantry and its Job Readiness Program.
“Our heartfelt gratitude to Assembly Member Nily Rozic for the $50,000 grant that will be used to serve the critical needs of 250 families (1,000 individuals) who depend on SACSS’ Food Pantry for their next meal,” said SACSS Executive Director Sudha Acharya. “This grant will also support 25 students in our Job Readiness Program, and will go a long way in ensuring the economic empowerment of the South Asian immigrant community.”
State Assembly Member Nily Rozic (r.) presents a $50,000 check to SACSS Executive Director Sudha Acharya
Amina Ahmed, who is a mother of an 8-month-old daughter, thanked SACSS for their support.
“I didn’t know how to use the sewing machine, and now I’m feeling very confident because we learned everything – from how to sew a kurti, pants, a blouse and a lehenga,” said Ahmed. “I think every girl should be financially independent and I thank SACSS for giving me this opportunity to start my own business and earn an income.”
M. Sita Rama Lakshmi said she is “feeling good and confident to sew and will continue to practice and open a business.”
Khemwantie Boadnarine echoed her peers’ sentiments saying, “I’m happy and glad that I learned how to sew, and now I can help others. I thank SACSS for giving us this opportunity.”
State Assembly Member Nily Rozic speaks to the graduates at the Stitch with SACSS graduation ceremony
The SACSS Women’s Economic Independence Program, Stitch with SACSS, was launched in July of 2023. In the program, women learn sewing, pattern making, fabric cutting, garment construction, and alterations. The program is coordinated by Rema Venu and is taught by Manjulaben Darji.
“I feel proud of myself for teaching my students how to stitch the clothes. My students are happy, and I am happy because they learned the business of working from home,” Darji said.
The next Stitch with SACSS class begins on Monday, January 22.