The Sewing Guild was started in the summer of 2013 in the Ugandan sugar cane village of Wiraka. It is one of the poorest communities in Uganda. The Giving Circle Africa funds the startup of projects in this village and another sugar cane village, Kagoma Gate, with the goal of improving the lives of all residents through sustainable projects. These projects include agriculture, health care, education, nutrition, crafts and the Sewing Guild.
The first year of the Sewing Guild project, five Ugandan women in a very small storage room with no electricity were able to finish an apron project in an afternoon training session using third world treadle sewing machines that continually broke down. Using patterns, they pinned and cut the fabric out on a dusty floor. The Giving Circle provided 25 yards of traditional African fabric to the women. They produced twenty five aprons for sale in less than two days.
Over the year, the women secured space with electricity in a local church and started taking contracts for school uniforms as part of The Giving Circle Africa. In the summer of 2014, the Sewing Guild was provided with eight electric sewing machines, a cutting table, shelves and storage containers (thanks to some of your donations). The Sewing Guild has increased production of school uniforms with the new machines.
Traditionally all children in Uganda wear school uniforms which include socks and a sweater. Currently, sweaters are produced in Kenya and imported into Uganda. The next goal is to raise funds to provide the Sewing Guild with a knitting machine and initial supplies to make sweaters and socks so that everything is made by our women and locally!