As more and more HIV+ women come knocking at our door, begging to enter our sewing program, we have found that we just can’t turn them away. They know that there is hope in this place, and they want a piece of it for themselves. What to do? Our space and staff are limited. We have decided that we must graduate the “old-timers” in order to make room for new women. But our old-timers don’t want to go. They like the warmth and security of the sewing program. However, they also recognize the need of the new women. They can see themselves in the eyes of the women.
The “old-timers” are now what we call “graduates” although we haven’t officially graduated them yet. They have a great deal of sewing knowledge, but now we are also equipping them with business techniques so they will be able to stand on their own. Our goal is that the graduates will surpass what they were able to do when they were part of our program.