Project Launch: 1-27-16
This project will support a women-led cooperative of widows, single mothers, and caregivers of orphans in Kagunda to expand their sewing business. Currently, the women sew bags, aprons, and napkins by hand and sell them locally and internationally. To keep up with demand, this project will provide 2 additional sewing machines, sales racks, and banners to advance and promote their business. The women will use the profits to pay their children's school fees as well as reinvest in their business and other income-generating opportunities.
Project Update: 4/16/16
The women have purchased two racks and three sewing machines and are working with a local tailor to learn how to properly use the machines. The women recently sold their items at a local hotel, where they made over $200, a significant sum for rural Zambians. Seeing it as an opportunity to transfer skills and empower even more women, the cooperative offers monthly art/sewing courses to community members. To date, they have been able to train 83 women in the community with intentions to reach even more.
"We love having the machines! We are growing and learning every day. Now we can grow our business and send more children to school." - Lister, Project Leader
"Since we got the machines, I have been working almost every day to learn them. Now I can use the machines and help other women to learn. When we all know the machines we will be able to work faster and make more things so that we can reach our goals." - Judith, Project Participant
"The purchasing of machines and racks have created so many opportunities for Kagunda Women. The demand for their products is so large that they have not been able to fulfill online requests. As the entire group learns to use the machines, their capability to generate more income will grow. As a result, they have been dreaming bigger than ever before, discussing options to begin scholarship programs for their children and local orphaned children." - Bonnie, Peace Corps Volunteer