I made the trip out to St. Joseph's Convent where they have a small sewing project at the far edge of Hmawbi. After a few quick stops to ask locals for updated directions we arrived with Sister Regine waiting by the road to greet us. Sister Regine has been working with this project for over three years. Her current pupils are three girls from various rural areas in Myanmar. Martha, Margret and Jancinda Dawaung Naw are rather shy as we introduce ourselves.
With Pomelo they are creating the "little monsters." These soft plush toys are made from a combination of Myanmar cotton, Myanmar longhi and imported cotton. They are rather lovable funny looking creatures based off how children draw and imagine. The girls are quick learners as they work on making quality yet quirky toys.
Like all the girls who come to St. Joseph's the girls are poor and the goal is for them to complete their studies. They will stay at the project for a few months to learn sewing skills then leave to complete either their 10th standard or go on to take foreign studies. While working on their education, they are able to continue sewing in their free time to earn a small income. Eventually they will go to "pre postulate" to gain theological education before becoming nuns. If the girls are studious they can use their advanced education to work among the sisters. For those who are less studious they will continue to focus on sewing or agriculture within their convent.