Teen Finds Tailor-made Solution for Independence

Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl for CRS

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4Children assists orphans and vulnerable children by building technical and organizational capacity, strengthening essential components of the social service system, and improving linkages with health and other sectors. In one young woman’s case, connecting her with vocational training gave her the opportunity to build her capacity to support herself.


4Children was able to connect Grace with a vocational school ... which offers free education to youth. 


For 17-year-old Grace, living in the village of Kandandule, Malawi, the past had been difficult, and her future did not hold much promise either.  Grace carries a triple burden of being an orphan, living with albinism and with HIV. 

sewing machine

4Children's capacity strengthening work creates relationships that help meet specific needs, as in Grace's case, training as a tailor. Photo by Michael Stulman/CRS

With no other family, Grace had to stop going to school and has been living with and caring for the children of her sister, who herself struggles to earn what she can for her family. A case worker from the 4Children project began visiting Grace and found that she is faithful in taking her antiretrovirals and had one dream: to continue her education. 

The case worker helped Grace identify her interests and strengths. Grace proposed that she would like to improve her skills in tailoring because it is a trade that involves staying indoors and not walking long distances under the sun, which is a good occupation for someone with albinism. 4Children was able to connect Grace with a vocational school, Musical Cross Road Centre, which offers free education to youth. 

In addition to vocational training, Musical Crossroad Centre also provides the students with other basic needs like soap and groceries. Grace is now doing well in the six month tailoring program and with the 4Children case worker continued accompaniment, she can look forward to being able to support herself and further help her sister.



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This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under cooperative agreement AID-OAA-A-14-00061. The story contents are the responsibility of 4Children and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government