Shoreline-based Rain City Rotary last week presented a check for $1,500 to Carol Schillios, founder of He’re’ Je’ Training Center in Bamaco, Mali in West Africa, who operates the Fabric of Life Boutique in Edmonds.
The He’re’ Je’ Training Center takes girls who are begging on the street and teaches them an income-generating skill such as making beaded jewelry or creating batik fabrics. But more than that, they learn “life skills” such as health and nutrition and reading and writing. And they learn how to manage the money they are now making.
The center takes them “from beggars to businesswomen.” The $1,500 represents what it takes to put one girl through the 18-month-long program.
According to our friends at Shoreline Area News, members of Rain City Rotary have worked hard to raise this money and they are happy to have reached their goal. “Because of us a girl will have a much better life. That really warms my heart,” says member Donna Eggen. And there is a “ripple effect” because as the young women prosper, they send money to their families and home villages.
The batik fabrics and beaded jewelry and many other beautiful crafts they make are sold at the Fabric of Life Boutique, 523 Main St.