developmenttechnologygovernanceeducationhealth sectorconflict zonehuman rightsenvironmentreligious dimension

MissionAFFORDABLE, SUSTAINABLE, AND GREEN HOUSINGPiecemakersSchool ProgramSARID's ProjectsSouth Asia DevelopmentSouth Asia TechnologySouth Asia GovernanceSouth Asia EducationSouth Asia Health SectorSouth Asia Conflict ZoneSouth Asia EnterpriseSouth Asia EnvironmentSouth Asia ReligionSARID Journal





December 2004: Piecemakers in the news

When Atiya Suhail learnt quilting, little did she know that one day she would be teaching that art to a group of young impoverished, underprivileged Karachi girls.

"Moving towards self-sufficiency", Dawn Magazine, December 5, 2004 ... more


August 2004: Salma Shakir in the news

Salma Shakir points out that the Piecemakers have benefited from the contributions of a dedicated group of volunteers. "The Piecemakers are working toward success due to the dedication of many kind, generous people," Shakir said.

"Building a future, piece by piece", Arab News, August 13, 2004 ... more


July 2004: Quilt Exhibition 2004

The annual quilt exhibition, co-sponsored by SARID and the Rehman Shah School & Vocational Centre, Umar Colony, Karachi, showcased the work of students from the Centre with related workshops and demonstrations.

Karachi, Pakistan, July 2004 ... more

New Piecemaker logo!

The Piecemakers now have a logo for their handiwork designed by 23 year old Ahmed Amin, who graduated from the Indus Valley School of Art and
Architecture with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design.

Ahmed Amin who loves illustration, has worked in advertising design & is now starting out in multimedia - different from advertising but still incorporatings design and conceptualisation.


• March 2004: Piecemakers in the news

Empowering women through vocational skills learned in SARID's "Piecemakers" program is the subject of an article by Sameen Tahir-Khan in the Arab News, the major English language daily serving the Middle East:

"Fighting against all odds," Arab News, March 12, 2004 ... more

January 2004: Piecemakers learn English

Books & magazines on quilting are in English, a language that many students at the Centre do not know. As translating instructions into Urdu has proven not to be the answer, Donny Wright from the Quilters Guild suggested that the students be taught English.

SARID has now hired a Montessori-trained teacher, Kiran Riaz, to start the "Learn English" program to enable the women to converse & express themselves in English. 20 women, ages ranging from 18 to 50 years, have enrolled to date as part of the SARID School Program's Vocational Training/Adult Literacy component.


SARID in the news

KARACHI: South Asia Research Institute for Policy and Development (SARID), based in Boston, has launched a project for providing free education to illiterate and underprivileged women in the metropolis.

"SARID launches ‘education project for women’", News International, Pakistan, January 14, 2004 ...more

November 2003: Award-winning volunteer joins Piecemakers

Atiya Suhail, an excellent quilter who has won several awards in the USA, has volunteered to join the Piecemakers program at the Rehman Shah Vocational Centre and work with the students. Her professional approach is sure to inspire them to produce works of great beauty and utility.


Piecemakers: six months on

Salma Shakir

SARID Project Coordinator

November 2003

Six months after my last stint at the Shah Vocational Centre, I re-visited the students, now in the capable hands of Rehana, who oversaw the quilting, and my sister-in-law Tahira, who made sure that the classes ran smoothly and were well supplied. In addition to her help, Tahira's input about color schemes and quilt layout has been invaluable.

I did not expect too much from the students, as it was all new to them and proficiency would take time. I found that while not all the students had stayed with the program, those who did had improved their quilting skills to a remarkable extent. SARID's executive director, Javed Sultan, who visited the school, was impressed by what had been achieved in six months and offered bonuses for their work. This monetary award encouraged other girls to join.

The students who dropped out did so mainly for financial reasons. As these girls run their households while their mothers go out to work as maids, time spent on projects detracted heavily from domestic chores. We have now come up with a solution for this problem by talking to the girls who want to stay with program and identifying their needs. We found that putting them on a stipend would enable them to re-join. For this purpose we have established the “Adopt a Quilter” scheme, whereby the girls are paid to learn the craft of quilting. The stipend is for a period of two years, at the end of which the beneficiaries will be assessed and helped to establish themselves. This assistance could take the form of getting employment suitable to their skills or of setting up their own business.

The students at the Shah Vocational Centre are part of the SARID School Program's Vocational Training/Adult Literacy component. Though our focus is on women and specifically on teaching them quilting, the students also learn embroidery and dressmaking. Dressmaking is extremely important as the girls save money by sewing clothes for themselves and their families. Most importantly, in our endeavor to teach patchwork quilting, we also run a literacy program for those girls who cannot read or write. Additionally, they are learning a craft which involves accurate measurement, focus and time management. Computer access is also available through the Shah Secondary School. As they become proficient, the students will develop into competent, capable women. By staying with the program and continuing their education they have a better chance of being the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Piecemakers Home

Piecemakers: full story

Quilt Exhibition 2004, Karachi

Quilt Exhibition 2003, Karachi

See also: School Program - Shah School

Projects Home




Copyright 2003 | SARID | 675 Mass Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA | Tel: 617.492.0764 | Fax: 617.492.6226