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Womens Bureau

Office of the Vice President & Ministry of Womens Affairs

14/15 Marina Parade
TEL NO: 4228730 / 4228733 / 4224902 FAX NO: 4229846



Figure 1: Family picture at the end of the Opening Ceremony


Meeting Summary and Outcomes

Official Opening


Work shop objectives

Background Information

Highlights of discussions

I. Opening Remarks by the Executive Director Womens Bureau, Mrs. Binta Jammeh - Sidibe
II. Remarks by the Secretary General National Commission for UNESCO
III. Remarks by Dr. Seydou Cisse- ISESCO
IV. Remarks by the Public Relations Officer of the National Womens Council
V. Keynote address by the representative of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Jammeh
Meeting Outcomes and actions to be forwarded

Annex I: Meeting Report

Open Session

Vote of Thanks

Conclusions from the Open Session

Annex 2: Closing ceremony

VI. Opening Remarks by the Executive Director Womens Bureau, Mrs. Binta Jammeh - Sidibe
VII. Remarks by the Secretary General National Commission for UNESCO
VIII. Remarks by Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly & Chairperson of the National Womens
IX. Remarks by the Public Relations Officer of the National Womens Council
X. Keynote address by the representative of H.E. the Vice President, Dr. Isatou Njie Saidy & Minister for
Womens Affairs
XI. Vote of Thanks
XII. Awarding of Certificates and handing over of equipment

Annex 3:

Profile of participants

Participants factory visit to a Tailoring and production workshop Ndey Awas Plaza Fajara.

Meeting Summary and Outcomes


Official Opening

The Meeting started with Muslim prayers by Mrs. Mam Fatou Jaye. Present at the opening
ceremony were the representative of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly &
Chairperson of the National Womens Council, Hon. Ebrima Solo Jammeh, National
Assembly member for Foni Bintan Karanai, the Secretary General, The Gambia National
Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Momodou Sanneh, Dr. Cisse, representative from ISESCO, the
Public Relations Officer (PRO, National Womens Council), the Executive Director,.
Womens Bureau among others.

Background Information

The Executive Director of the Womens Bureau Mrs. Binta Jammeh Sidibe informed that,
the former Secretary General of the National Commission of UNESCO Mr. Yahya Al- Mahtarr
Jobe first made the proposal on skills training for marginalized women entrepreneurs to be
supported by BADEA, in order to economically empowered them so as to be able to
participate meaningfully in other productive activities. She said, this was vigorously
pursued by his successor; Mr. Momodou Sanneh, the incumbent Secretary General of
UNESCO- Gambia and this is why we were gathered for a period of two weeks in order to
gain knowledge and skills that will benefit us, our families and our communities at large.


The opening prayers was led by Aja Fatou Jabbie, after that the Executive Director of the
Womens Bureau did an introduction of the high table starting from Dr. Seydou Cisse
representative of ISESCO, Mr. Momodou Sanneh the Secretary General of UNESCO, Hon.
Ebrima Solo Jammeh the National Assembly Member for Foni Bintang and Aja Amie Jatta-
Njie PRO - the National Womens Council thanked BADEA and ISESCO for funding the

The chairperson of the

occasion, Mrs. Binta Jammeh-
Sidibe noted the importance of
skills acquisition as a
prerequisite to economically
empower women and girls. She
informed the gathering that
participants were selected from
the different regions in the
country by making

Figure 1: Mrs. Binta Jammeh- Sidibe, Executive Director Womens

Bureau delivering her Welcome remarks
consultations with the National Women councilors. She explained that these 48 councilors
are responsible to work with grassroots women on issues affecting their lives. She further
noted that one of the reasons selecting from the 48 women councilors is that their term of
office is about to end soon and that giving them the opportunity to undergo such a training
will definitely empower them even beyond their retirement. She therefore urged the
participants/ trainees to take the training seriously as many more women would like to
have such an opportunity. She finally extends her sincere greetings to H.E. the Vice
President whom she said is aware of this training. She informed the participants that the
training will last for 14 days and after the training they will be going home with the
machines and some money to start business.

Aji Amie Jatta the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the National Womens Council saluted
member of the high table and other women. She thanked the Womens Bureau, UNESCO,
ISESCO and BADEA for organising such training. And finally urged the participants to come
on time and stay to the end of the training and take the training seriously.

The Secretary General for UNESCO Gambia, Mr. Momodou Sanneh, in his opening remarks
said the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO is proud to be associated with ISESCO
and BADEA initiation. He say that the intervention is a technical assistant which aims to
enhance the capacities of African Women in the field of sewing and embroidery in order to
increase income, enhance their quality of life and reduce poverty.

He added that women need to be

empowered in order to shape the
socio-economic landscape of society.
He further went on to say that the
capacity for women to participate will
contribute to and benefit from growth
processes in ways that recognize the
valve of their contributions, respect
their dignity and make it possible to
negotiate for a fairer distribution of
the benefits of growth. He thanked
Figure 2: Mr. Momodou Sanneh, SG, NATCOM GAMBIA, far
BADEA and ISESCO for identifying the
right, delivering his remarks at the Opening ceremony
Gambia to be part of the initiative under which 20 women will benefit from two life-
changing strategies that is:

1. Provision of sewing and embroidery equipment to every trainee;

2. Vocational training sessions for 14 days in the fields of sewing and embroidery.

He stressed that the graduates of this programme will be able to utilize the vocational skills
gained from the training sessions and the equipment to support their livelihoods through a
sustainable income generating scheme.

According to him the multiplier effect of the benefits that will accrue from this intervention
will lay a strong foundation for the attainment of women empowerment, gender equality
and poverty reduction.

He continued to say that Gambia women deserve support from everyone, everywhere and
under every circumstance to enable then sustained their meaningful contribution to
national development.

He urged the trainees to take full advantage of this rare opportunity which will not only
benefit them but also their families and society as a whole.

In conclusion, the secretary general for UNESCO thanked BADEA for funding the project,
ISESCO for the provision of quality technical supervision and Womens Bureau for
coordinating the programme.

In his statement, Dr. Seydou Cisse of

ISESCO extended warm greetings from
the Director General of ISESCO. He said
that he is once again delighted to hold
yet another capacity building training
programme for Gambian women as it is
the means to economically empower
them. He further reiterated his ardent his
desire for this training programme to
achieve its intended objectives by citing
countries such as the republic of Senegal
Figure 3: Dr. Seydou Cisse of ISESCO delivering
remarks during the opening ceremony
that has recently concluded its training
programme on Sewing and Embroidery.

Special greetings were also extended to the Government of the Gambia for hosting this
technical assistant programme and collaborating with ISESCO and BADEA in other to
ensure successful implementation. He further commended the Gambia National
Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) for collaborating with the Womens Bureau to
efficiently coordinating the preparation of the training programme given that promoting
womens economic empowerment through education and training by providing the
requisite support for poverty eradication. He reminded the participants that in June last
year, a training programme on the Management of Small and Medium Scale Businesses for

Women in Africa was also funded by the ISESCO and the Qatar Charity in order to enhance
their knowledge and skills so as to impact policy choices on their small businesses and also
improve their marketing techniques and funding opportunities. He informed the
participants that at the end of the training each participant will be provided with a sewing
machine or embroidery machine depending on their respective areas of specialties with
seed money to start or expand their businesses. He finally thanked the participants for
their commitment and work as a team for their socio-economic empowerment.

Speaking on behalf of the

Chairperson National Womens
Council who also double as Deputy
Speaker of the National Assembly,
Hon. Ebrima Solo Jammeh the
member for Foni Bintang in his key
note address, commended the
Womens Bureau and its partners
for coming up with such an
important initiative. He highlighted
that skills acquisition is very
important in the socio-economic
development with specific focus on

women empowerment. He further

Figure 4: Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon Ebrima Solo
Jammeh the member for Foni Bintang, West Coast Region buttressed that if women are given
the right skills and knowledge,
they would be able to provide for their families and contribute towards poverty eradication
in the Gambia. He thanked the President of the republic of the Gambia for his visionary
leadership for championing the welfare of Gambia women and ratifying various
conventions, protocols and treaties and other legal frameworks of the African Union and
international treaties all geared towards empowering Gambian women.

He substantiated the above by citing section 28, sub- section 1 & 2 of the 1997 constitution
also accorded equal rights and opportunities to women.

Mr. Jammeh finally challenged all stakeholders to consider womens issues as a priority by
making reference to the Gender and Women Empowerment policy 2010-2020, which is all
encompassing and advocates for equal opportunities all especially for women and girls. He
assured the gathering that everything about women is about loyalty, commitment, peace,
love, dedication, hard work, sincerely, caring, and a positive development mind sets in a
true and honest manner. He finally concluded his statement with a phrase sew what you
wear and wear what you sew, derived from H.E. the Presidents vision 2016, Eat what
you grow and grow what you Eat if we really want to achieve sustainable development.


Objective of the training

The objective of the training is:

To train the participants on sewing and embroidery so that they can penetrate the
market through a sustainable livelihood skills.
To expose the participants on the theoretical and practical skills in sewing and
To economically empowered the participants through skill acquisition through
(sewing and embroidery).


The methodology adopted for training was both theoretical through lectures and practical,
which were very interactive as participants were exposed to the basic elements of both
sewing and embroidery; and were later given exercises and group works, using the flip
chart to draw and give lecture notes, cutting, dress assembling and ironing. The classes are
divided into two groups 10 for sewing and 10 for embroidery. At the end of each session
the trainer evaluate and assess the understanding of the participants by given them
practical work.


Mr. Yuspha Ceesay

Mr. Malick Willam

Mrs. Ndey Awa Khan - Ceesay

Mrs. Aja Fatou Jabbie


The training started with participants developed their own ground rules which including:

Set phones on silence while on sessions

No unnecessary talking or interruption
Session to start at 9:00 am and ends at 5:00 pm each day
Breakfast is 20minutes and lunch and prayers 40 minutes

This was followed by the introduction of participants and where they come from as they
were selected from all over the Gambia to participate in this very golden training


The training started with self-introduction of participants and the region they are
representing. They later express their expectations of the training, which are as follows:-

Whether they will be


That they will like to have

a better understanding of
sewing and embroidery;

Know how to cut patterns

and shapes and join the fabrics.

Figure 5: Participants at the training


As a prerequisite for the training, participants were divided into two sub-groups of ten
participants each. One sub-group concentrated in the field of Sewing, while the other was in
the field of Embroidery. The training programme was then distributed to all and which was
used as a guide for the training period.

The trainers knowing fully well that the participants had fair knowledge in these two fields
did not relent but engaged them in to discussions in order to gauge their level of
understanding of the subject matter. This they did by asking them questions and to express
their understanding of some relevant definitions of words, and meaning of sewing
machines, different types of machines, parts of sewing machines, and the measurement
techniques among others.

She engage them by a brainstorming on the materials needed during sewing including
threads, irons, oils, needles, pins, scissors, tape lines, blades, and chalks.

The trainers then continue by asking them to name some of the additional materials
needed in tailoring. The participants came up with the following cloths, tables, chairs,
cupboard and dust bin.

They continued by asking them to name the essential parts of the sewing machine. The
participants gave the following as the parts of the machine include the spool pins, thread
guide, tension dick, tension spring, take up lever, needle hole, needle, bobbin winder,
bobbin case, flight wheel, feed dog, peddle and plate. After naming the different part of the
sewing machine she linked them to the different types of machine which used by tailors
which include; simple machines, hand machine, pedal machine, and electric sewing

After the brainstorming session, participants were exposed to the essential

equipment needed in sewing as follows:-

Seam ripper this is important for removing stray stitches and icky seams;
Measuring tape most preferably the soft, flexible kind works best;
Sharp scissors, preferably used only for sewing
Straight pins, small to medium sized,
Sturdy thread (very cheap thread tends

to break and jam your machine) and Iron (and a place to ironyou can buy very
small ironing boards that work on any flat surface

Sewing machine


Day two started with a recap of the previous day. After that the trainers start by asking
questions in order to gauge the understanding of the participants. Although the training
programme was to be followed, the trainers deemed it fitting to expose to the trainees what
to do when their machines want to quit working and this was as follows:

1. Rethread the machine completely (top and bottom)

2. Look for anything in the bobbin area that may be jamming things up. Broken
needles, pins, and even lint build-up can prevent smooth operation. (Because of this,
try to avoid sewing over pins whenever you can.) Then rethread the machine then
to replace the needle and rethread the machine.

They were later introduced a new topic that is measurement techniques. She asked the
trainees the following what is measurement, its importance, how to measure and the use of
a tapeline. The trainees were able to know the skills involve in measuring. The participants
were also able to know the difference between a centimeter and a yard. They continued by
doing some practical in cutting and sewing for the rest of the day.



Learning how to sew means one needs to know how to use the sewing machine properly
and being confortable in it. It is also important to know the parts of the sewing machine
and their uses. This was followed by exposing the participants how to thread the machines
and the types of stitches there are. These comprises of the following:

1. The regular straight stitch

2. How to adjust needle position left and right if this is a feature on your machine
useful for sewing zippers
3. The zig-zag stitch
4. What stretch stitches there might be such as the lightening stitch or the triple
stretch stitch or the triple zig-zag
5. What edge finishing stitches you might have such as the overcasting stitches
6. Any stitches for buttons and buttonholes.

Therefore, given that there are many types of stitches, in order to sew perfectly, it is
important to select the right stitches.


The day started with a recap of the second day. After that the trainer introduce to the
participants on how to make a necklines on practical and theoretical. She gave the
following as the neck lines: round neck, square neck, love neck, vie neck, side neck, zigzag
neck, colour neck, and scooping neck. The participants continue with the practical work in
sewing the different type of neck.

After exposing them on the theoretical aspects, they then started to stitch the pieces of
fabrics that were cut in different but simple shapes for a start. The fabrics were folded in
half right sides together and were then placed in the machine so that the unfolded edges
line up with the edge of the presser foot in order to creates approximately 1/4 seam

They were then advised that to sew smoothly, the presser foot must be down whenever
you stitch. This allows the material to automatically feed through evenly and also it is
important to raise the needle to its highest position so as to prevent it from becoming
unthreaded. Then raise the presser foot to remove the fabric from the machine.



The trainees were exposed to make their own Pattern by first drafting a basic pattern such
as making neck shapes and cut. They then continued with the cutting of the different type
of necks and each of them chose one type of neck style and continued to sew them. After
having sewn their cloths they then beaded them.


Day five was basically on personnel measurement; trainees were taken through on how to
take measurement by dividing them into pairs and each demonstrating on each other to see
their level of understanding. Lecture notes on the same topic was given to them to serve as
a guide, more importantly, they were also trained on the difference in taking
measurements for the different sexes in terms of their outfits, as measurement for the girls
comprises of the following steps:- bust, waist, hips, bodice, chest, across back. While that of
boys it consist of the following key steps:- crest, waist, hips, neck, length of sleeve and
inside legs.

Furthermore, the types of patterns were explained to the trainees, which are draft patterns
and a commercial pattern respectively. Draft pattern is one that is made to fit a particular
person. His/her body measurements are taken and used in the pattern making while the
commercial pattern is one made by experts to fit a range of figures using specific body
measurements. They are made and sold in specific sizes, such as ready - made dresses,
shirts and jackets are classified by bust or chest measurements while skirts and trousers
are sold by waist measurements.


Day six continued with practical work, participants sew different styles/ fashions
decorating them into shapes for proper outfits, which include the following locally called;
Long Gown (kaba dagete), kaba Mamboye, dagite, short skirt sharp, baby dress, boxer
shorts etc.


The seventh day, trainees continued with practical work, which led to some degree in
advanced stage in sewing and embroidery by drawing different shapes and patterns, from

the lecture notes provided to them by making near perfect measurements. They were able
to made comparison between centimeter, inches and yard.


In the eight day the trainer gave written and oral test to assess their level of understanding
for the first week of the training programme. The test was basically in two parts, the first
was basically based on theoretical understanding while the other was just practical. The
questions given were as follows;

1. Draw a human body and list 8 places where the tailor should measure before sewing
2. What is measurement?
3. Define scissors
4. Name eight equipment in small and big equipment
5. Which measurement do you take first when taking decision to show a dress
6. What are the use of pins in your dress
7. Name 5 parts of a sewing machine
8. What is the length of a tape line
9. 1 meter is how many centimeter?
10. Name 5 types of necklines and draw them

After the assessment, virtually all the trainees did very well in answering most of the
questions. Later the participants were taken through all the questions and they were
answered together.


It continued with a more advance stage of sewing and embroidery. Participants were able
to come with their own creative designs that they seemed. Later a theory was to the
participants that are to cut 5 neck lines each and seamed. The first part was on the cutting
of the clothes in which the trainers guide them and the second part was on the sewing,
which were also, examined.


Day ten was basically based on brainstorming, recapping of all previous notes and
practicals given to them so as to refreshes their minds on what they had done since the
training started.


The day started by exposing the participants on how to cut childrens dresses. This was
done systematically by turns until all of them trainees had the opportunity to cut for a
sample for themselves. They later engaged them to sew on their own by guiding them
through and finally each of the participant was give bias sartain and bias cotton to design
their clothes. For the other class they were engaged into creative designing, drawing them
into different patterns such as flower patterns, 4 corner shapes among others.


On day twelve each of the trainees choice a style to sew for their graduation outfits. The
trainers help them to cut their styles and started to guide to do the sewing. They started
with the sewing of the head tie, later to the lapper/skirt and later with the shirt. For the
embroidery class they continue to sew different dress styles like rubber, dagite, Abaayer


Day thirteen was spent by

reviewing what had been done
during the whole training period,
went on a factory visit to one of the
resource persons tailoring site
known as Ndey Awas Plaza in an
area called Fajara.

During the visit, the first point

visited was the Fashion shop,

Figure 6: Factory visit to Ndey Awas Plaza

where the participants had the opportunity to have a clear view of the products displayed
there. They were later led to the tailoring shop where there were about ten tailors all
seriously doing their job as expected. They had some interactions with the tailors by asking
them questions which were answered.

The visit was followed by finishing the sewing of the participants graduation outfits. This
was to be finalized on day fourteen given that time was a bit limited on our side.


This was the last day of the training was mainly spent by completing the unfinished
businesses. At the end of the training, all the participants both those on the simple sewing
and those who were in the embroidery classes were all very happy and excited as their
expectations were met.


At the end of the training programme, participants expressed their appreciation of the
support extended to them and to Gambian women at large, by providing training in the
field of Sewing and Embroidery, they forwarded following recommendations:

1. Possible roll out of this initiative in order to reach more beneficiaries in the country;
2. To increase the time allocated for the training in the Field of Sewing and
Embroidery to at least One Month;
3. Support in the area of capacity building (Tye & Dye/ Batik) for at least 50 women;
4. Literacy training for women and girls


The Womens Bureau as part of its monitoring plans will be making quarterly monitoring
visits to all the beneficiaries of the project so as to provide guidance in order to ensure that
the participants/ trainees are on the right track.

In the short term, Womens Bureaus Programme Officers, together with the Women
Councilors in the various regions of the Gambia will be making visits to the various project
sites to check if the participants have set up their workshops with the logo of ISESCO and
BADEA hanged and how they are settling with the machines and file in reports.

Furthermore, the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the headquarter visits the project sites
on a quarterly basis in order to assess their status and file in reports.


The Closing ceremony and awarding of certificates, together with handling over of
equipment was held at the Kanifing Municipal Councils grounds on the 2nd March 2016.
This was a big event attended by a cross section of high profile individuals from both the
government circles and the private sector. Speakers at the colorful ceremony were the

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice President and Minister for Womens Affairs,
representing H.E. the Vice President of the republic, the Deputy Speaker of the National
Assembly, who also doubles as the Chairperson of the National Womens Council, the
Deputy Mayor of the Kanifing Municipal Council, The Deputy Chairperson of the UNESCO
Board, the Secretary General, NATCOM, National Assembly members among others.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, the

chairperson of the occasion, Mrs. Binta
Sidibe underscored the importance of
skills acquisition particularly for
women and girls as a prerequisite to
economically empowered women and
girls. She informed the gathering that
participants were selected from the
different regions in the. She hopes that
the skills acquired during the two-
Figure 7. Executive Director, Mrs. Binta Jammeh-Sidibe week period will be further enhanced
and become self-reliant in order to
improve their income earning capacities for sustainable development.

As a famous entrepreneurial slogan says, If opportunity does not knock, build a door. You
cannot afford to wait. This country cannot afford for you to wait and therefore, let us move
in unison to build our beloved motherland.

The Deputy Speaker of the National

Assembly and Chairperson of the
National Womens Council, also
highlighted the need for women and
girls to pursue self-help options, in
terms of networks for both economic
and social well-being, such as women
cooperatives that are believed to be
beneficial for positive engagements.
She finally urged them to continue to
seek opportunities that will advance

their economic and social well-

Figure 8 Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly & Chairperson
of the National Womens Council
being given that the Gambia cannot
wait any longer and urged them to
build a door, if opportunity does not knock. She ended her statement by saying that there
many more women who would have loved to be presented with such opportunity to ensure
that they become self-reliant, in terms of job creation and creation of job opportunities.

Therefore, the participants should make sure that, they reap the benefits of this important
training programme to not only benefit them but society at large.

For his part, the Secretary General of the National Commission for UNESCO also
underscored the importance of such a training programme, by citing the close collaboration
of the National Commission for UNECSO and the Womens Bureau. He said that the training
was intended to economically empower Gambian women through capacity building as
skills development is key to improving rural productivity, employability and income-
earning opportunities, enhancing food security and promoting environmentally sustainable
rural development and livelihoods.

He further went to say that despite rural womens major role in agriculture and other rural
activities, higher barriers in education and training limit their participation in more
productive and remunerative work,
perform managerial and leadership roles
and participate fully in the development of
their communities.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the

National Womens Council thanked
ISESCO and BADEA through the National
Council for UNESCO for supporting

Figure 9: Mr. Momodou Sanneh, Secretary of NATCOM- Gambia Gambian women.

She noted the fact that womens

empowerment cannot be attained if they
are not economically empowered. This is
what the support seeks to address. She
finally urged the participants to use the
proceeds of the

Figure 10 PRO, NWC, Amie Jatta

For her part, the representative of H.E. the Vice President of the republic, also noted that
integrating women into national development objectives is of paramount importance so as
to spread the benefits of trade, advancing social justice and inclusiveness. She further
highlighted the importance of having and promoting entrepreneurial attitudes and
practices as they help transform nations into large economies in the world. This is because,
entrepreneurship fuels innovation, makes industries more competitive, and creates
meaningful jobs and it is small businesses that drive most economies.

She finally closed her statement by

encouraging the participants and
Gambians alike to continue building our
own future, by saying that: dont let your
dreams just be dreams. Dont be afraid
of failure. Do something new, today. Each
of you can make a difference in building a
stronger Gambia, by building stronger
communities. The representative of H.E.
the Vice President finally thanked the
ISESCO and BADEA through the National
Figure 11: Deputy Permanent Secretary, Office of the Vice Commission for UNESCO for sponsoring
this training and urged them to continue
to support Gambian women in the area of capacity building.

The vote of thanks was given by a

participants who was regarded as the
Head girl Mrs. Mariam Ceesay-
Sawaneh, who thanked all and sundry
who had made this training programme
a success but most prominent is Dr.
Seydo Cisse, of ISESCO who is now
considered as a Gambian because of his
big heart for Gambian women to
succeed in their endeavors. Special
Figure 12: Mariam Ceesay- Sawaneh thanks and appreciation went to
ISESCO and BADEA for the laudable
support provided to Gambian women. She finally promised that the machines and the seed
money provided to them will be put in very good use so as to benefit them and their
communities; given that, they as councilors are representing their respective communities
at the Womens Council and therefore, whatever benefit comes to them, will be shared with
their community members.


Figure 23: Deputy Executive Director, Mrs. Ndey Figure 14: Participants observing the National
Fatou Jobe-Sanyang, presiding over the awarding of Anthem

Figure 15: Handing over of equipment, Mr.

Malick Willan and Mrs. Ndey Fatou Jobe-
Sanyang in the middle

Figure 16: Guests observing the National



Figure 17: Resource Persons Mr. Malick Willan and Mr.

Yusupha Ceesay

Figure 18: Equipment being off loaded from the truck to the
handing over site