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Student Of TheYear 2022

Where do we start? Watching Ayan find and follow her dreams has been a constant inspiration to us here at KNH.

Starting as a student in early 2021 as part of our Reading & Writing group at Debney Meadows Primary School, Ayan quickly became known as an incredibly kind, selfless and smart student who was always helping those around her.

However, it wasn’t until the group morphed into what is now known as ‘Sew & Grow’ that we realised something else. The woman can sew!

Already knowing the basics Ayan hit the ground running creating bags, masks, children’s clothes and more. Always the first to arrive and the last to leave, Ayan volunteers each week to set-up and pack-up the space and support new women. She’s even come on as a KNH casual to support events and special projects.

Sew & Grow not only supports women in their sewing skills but also in confidence building, language, and leadership skills. Learners have the opportunity to plan and facilitate events, excursions and workshops. This experience can help them identify and build their skills which in turn can help them choose their pathways forward.

One such event was the 2022 International Women’s Day workshop and lunch that Ayan and another Sew & Grow participant organised. Six months after this beautiful event we learnt that Ayan had found her own dream… to become a fashion designer and open her own business.

With the help of KNH volunteers and staff Ayan worked out her next steps. In February this year Ayan started her Certificate III of Clothing Production at RMIT University. And she hasn’t stopped there. Learning that Ayan can sew, her children’s Islamic school has commissioned her to make 1000 hijabs for school students. Ayan has used the proceeds to buy herself her own sewing machine.

We couldn’t be prouder of Ayan and adore having her part of our family. Still attending Sew & Grow, Ayan has already brought along other RMIT students needing some extra support.

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