Sewing School


In January 2014 Guinea Exchange opened a small trade school for girls in the capital city of Conakry. The school focuses on sewing, but also integrates reading, writing, French, and basic math skills. 

The students, ranging from 9 to 17 years old are led by Fodé Mansaré and Lazanzi.  They all are deeply proud to be learning, developing a valuable skill, and building a future for themselves and their families.

The certification program lasts four years and only costs $45 per month, per student, to gift this life-changing opportunity for one Guinean girl.

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Samantha Hyde

Dance Educator [West African Dance & Creative Movement]

I was able to observe the medical program, education scholarship program, and the vocational training program at the girls sewing school. The Guinean youth and adults selected for assistance through either medical funds or education scholarships are deserving of this and so much more. Their hard work is viewed as a duty – one that they will push through a medical concern or drop out of school to fulfill. The opportunity to receive funding to see a doctor or a scholarship to attend school means that these compassionate people can do something to improve their lives and the lives of others. This sort of basic necessity for Americans would be an indulgence for Guineans when the income in a family must go to food and shelter first with perhaps nothing remaining.

The sewing school in Conakry is such an exciting opportunity for young Guinean women – you can feel the positive energy when you walk inside. These students are receiving excellent tailoring training as well as academic studies. This results in employment opportunities not only for the tailors and interns teaching them but for the young women as they graduate and move into their own tailoring careers. There’s nothing quite like seeing self-confidence and power emanate from a young woman! These ladies are set up to succeed whereas prior to enrolling in Guinea Exchange’s sewing school, their future may have been unknown.

To observe all that Guinea Exchange is doing made this trip more impactful and pushed me further in my understanding of the country and culture. Thank you to all of the amazing people who made this happen and were a part of the journey - people with giant hearts and unbelievable generosity. I hope that this JOY rides like a rhythm in me forever."