By Janness Koh
Christmas is round the corner and I know many of you are already doing your shopping for it. Why not shop for a good cause then.
It’s great to see more and more organisations in Singapore that aim to help people. I first learnt about The LOOMs Workshops after connecting with my secondary school art teacher, Nasyitah Tan on Facebook, sad but have to admit that social media is so powerful and useful in this era. I have seen her posts from The LOOMs Workshops regularly and the handmade products are stunning. I was really curious about the work they do and so I started chatting up with her to find out more.
The LOOMs Workshops started two years ago with the vision and purpose to empower women through partnering with social services organisations to refer women. These are mainly single mums from low income families who also tend to have lower educational level while some also have to stay at home and look after their children or the elders. Hence, they have lesser job opportunities than others. Nasyitah saw the need to help these women develop skills and started with teaching them how to create aprons and other household items for sale and this gave them a job.
She also keeps in mind that these women have to develop in other aspects of themselves.
“Our objective is to get them confident, empowered and ready to go out to do their own thing or get proper/permanent employment either with us or other companies”, says Nasyitah.
After about 1.5 years she knew she wouldn’t be able to achieve what she wanted and started seeking help with like minded people and finally found another partner who supported what she envisioned. From there, they started a systematic training programme starting with 3 sessions of Beginners Training where attendees are even paid a small amount as travel allowance for each day. Those who are offered a contract after that are then expected to attend another weekly 3 hours of training.
Currently they have 5 people who are contracted to make the products like clutches, necklaces, aprons, etc. and I love that these are all handmade so not one item will be identical. Not only do they have some great gift ideas for Christmas or any occasions really but you will be supporting and joining in the effort to help reach out to more women in need, empowering them and also let them be able to support themselves. Do check out their merchandises on their site and follow them on Facebook for product updates and even behind the scenes photos.
The LOOMs Workshops also caters to corporations for team building activities or even for children. They have seasoned corporate trainers as well as a course developer and Nasyitah herself has been in the education industry for more than 10 years. Not only will you be able to have some fun with arts but also bring home your masterpiece.
*Photos courtesy from The LOOMs Workshops