The Exchange Project is our flagship craft mentoring program for girls from local schools who need additional support. Our volunteer mentors teach the girls sustainable living skills like sewing, crocheting, embroidery and in the process they gain confidence, resilience and how to develop community.
The program includes:
- Weekly workshops for the Semester
- Support for 8 girls, chosen by your school
- Mentor support for each girl (1-1 or 1-2)
- Student led skills development in sewing, embroidery, and other craft projects
- Development of knowledge and understanding of sustainability
- Introduction to volunteering in the Haberdashery
- Ability to give back to the community by making products for the Craft Stalls
- Afternoon tea
- Celebratory lunch and Certificates of Participation and Volunteering
- Our objective is to provide a safe and inclusive space outside of the academic environment.
The free program provides an inclusive and safe environment for these young women to build confidence and friendships with each other and their mentors. Many of them come ‘out of their shell’ while at the program and some return as junior volunteers in our social enterprise, The Nest Haberdashery that sells reclaimed sewing and craft supplies.
The purpose of craft gives the students a focus and builds their skills. They use reclaimed fabric, yarn, thread, and haberdashery notions to learn a craft, and then, in the spirit of exchange and giving back, some will also make items for our Craft Stalls.
Students leave the program with a sense of connectedness and achievement. They are very proud of their completed projects. But, more importantly, they are proud of how they have developed resilience, communication skills, and friendships with others.
The name “The Exchange Project” is important. It signifies the importance we place on our intergenerational practices which allows our mentors to receive the same sense of belonging, connectedness, and achievement as the students.
Since its inception in 2021, over 100 young women have attended The Exchange Project!