Reviewing sewing training materials for participants of rural income generating projects
Training materials contribute to the effectiveness of community-based projects when they address practical skills training needs. Various types of sewing training materials exist, but their suitability for use in South African rural income generating projects (IGPs) has not been investigated. Our aim was to review existing sewing training materials for their potential appropriateness and application in three selected rural sewing IGPs and to identify prominent sewing training needs. This qualitative study was executed in two phases. The first phase consisted of document analysis of selected currently available books and online sources. The interview-based second phase asked five community facilitators in the three IGPs to comment on the appropriateness of training material presented to them and on training needs encountered in their units. The findings revealed that print and online sources theoretically appropriate for use by IGP participants were less likely to be suitable in practice. The interview data also indicated challenges with practical skills, relating especially to the tasks of taking body measurements and of pattern layout. This study suggests a need to redesign training materials specifically for low-literate end-users in South African community-based rural sewing IGPs. It also offers an initial set of guidelines for reviewing and revising such materials that could give direction for developing training materials for a broader range of IGPs.