If you happen to be walking the halls of Amaro Tan after school hours – or sometimes even during summer activities – you’ve likely heard the subtle whir of sewing machines. Poking your head into the sewing room, you would see a handful of pupils working on various projects. Honing their skills with a sewing machine or even a simple needle and thread. 

Over the past 15 years that the sewing courses have been operating, pupils have had the opportunity to learn a valuable trade. Two former students of Amaro Tan at one point even worked in a garment manufacturing company in Tirana! A more recent project of the sewing course, however, has had a different kind of impact. 

At the Amaro Tan soup kitchen, we deliver food to a number of clients that cannot physically get to our facility. Every day, meals are transported in containers inside bags to the homes of these clients. The sewing course participants have created reusable bags for this exact purpose. For 5 soup kitchen clients, the pupils made 10 total bags, each with the name of the client inscribed on the bag. By having two bags per client, it allows the for the transport to be done easily; the food is delivered on one day with the first bag, and then on the next day with the second bag, collecting the first bag to be used on the following day.

This was an incredible initiative by Amaro Tan to help reduce the need for single-use plastic bags, as well as to give the pupils in the sewing course a way to help those around them in a very practical way. As Marin Piqoni, the Project Leader for Amaro Tan, puts it: “It is great that they are putting their acquired skills to good use.”