The 2018 Sewing Cooperative Graduation Replay
Join us for a fun hour of singing and dancing, testimonies, and prayer as we celebrate with the trainees of the Sew Powerful Sewing Cooperative. On March 9th, they graduated from the the program.
(Please note: the audio controls are switched “off” you can turn them on in the bottom right corner of the video player).
About The Graduation Event
We are so excited to announce that our latest group of sewing trainees have completed six months of intensive sewing training. We threw them a graduation party on May 9th and we’d love to invite you to watch the replay!
These ladies have worked hard to learn new skills, prepare for careers as seamstresses, and for many of them, this is the biggest educational accomplishment of their lives! They are filled with hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. We are honored to play a small part in what God is doing in their lives – it really is Sew Powerful.
We are praying that God will provide the funding to hire these trainees as full-time sewing cooperative employees. Each of them has expressed a deep desire to join the sewing cooperative – and if we had the funding to offer them jobs – they would be thrilled. Adding them to the team would give us 20 paid seamstresses. It would also give us the capacity to make 900 more reusable hygiene pads a month, (10,800 a year) which would help 5,000 girls stay in school.
To accomplish this goal, we’ll need to raise $1,860 in new monthly support. We’d like to challenge our community of purse makers, donors, and friends to help us reach this goal by becoming monthly donors. (Update: As Of March 13th, we at 45% of our goal – we are almost half way there).
Donate Today: The best way to support this effort is to sign up as an Atelier Angel or upgrade to a higher level. Your monthly pledge of $19, $29, or $49 will help us plan for the long-term support. If you would like to upgrade from one level to a higher level, you can learn how to do that here. Sew Powerful’s overhead rate was less than 4% in the most recent accounting year – and we are committed to extreme frugality!
Meet The Seamstresses
Hi, my name is Alice Moyo, I am 22 years old, and a mother to 1 child, a baby girl, who is 1 year four months old. I had my baby when I was at school due to peer pressure. I am the fourth born in the family of five. I completed grade 12 in 2016. Unfortunately couldn’t go to any training due to lack of finances. I wanted to do early childhood training upon completing my education, because I like interacting with children. My father is a driver for a small Organization, and my mother is working as a house maid. My hobbies are reading, listening to music, going to church and sewing. I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
Hello, my name is Brenda Phiri. I am 23 years old. Married with one child, I didn’t finish my education because of lack of financial support. My mother died when I was in my tenth grade, and I am the first born in the family of five. My father is around, but has no resources. I was forced into an early marriage because I had no one to support me or my siblings. So getting married was a way to help me and my siblings. Right now I am taking care of my two siblings. One sibling is in school at Needs Care, and the other one is just at home. My baby is one year old and has cerebral palsy. She can’t sit or stand on her own. It’s quiet a challenging situation. My hobbies are sewing, singing, cooking, watching T.V and traveling. I am so happy to have been enrolled in the sewing program as a seamstress. This has become like my family and I feel very much at home being here.
Hello, my name is Elizabeth Mwela, first born in a family of eight, and 24 years old. I am happy to say that I am a Needs Care pupil/student graduate. I started in the first grade at Needs Care School, went to high school for five years, and it is so great for me that I am back again, but now as a Seamstress trainee. For this I owe my life to Needs Care. I am so proud to be here. I have wanted to be a teacher by professional, as I like interacting with children so much, but because of lack of money, I am unable to do so. But I thank God that I have joined as a seamstress – meaning I will still be interacting with people a lot. My hobbies are reading, singing, dancing, sewing & designing.
Hello, my name is Fredah Thole. I am 21 years old, fifth born in the family of nine. I am a Christian believer with the Pentecostal church. I have two children from an early marriage, I ran away from home due to peer pressure and when I was in grade nine and got married. We were staying at my in-laws place, as my husband by then was not working, he was a student too. Two years ago my marriage ended and I went back to my parents because I so much wanted to go back to school and so I apologized to them. I am so grateful that they took me back with my two children. I started working as a house maid because I had a duty to fend for my children and luckily as a parent to a child at Needs Care, I was invited to enroll in the sewing training. I am so grateful to be part of this project. My hobbies are sewing, singing gospel music, dancing and interacting with different types of people.
Hello, my name is Getrude Kampamba. I am married with three children, I am 33 years old. I finished my grade twelve in my village in 2005, but didn’t do well with my results. I got married in 2006 then came to Lusaka. My husband is working as a driver and his income isn’t enough to meet most of our basic needs in the household. Life has not been easy on our side as a family. My hobbies are Cooking, singing, acting some plays, Knitting and sewing, as I like designing things.
Hi, my name is Mary Chiunda. I am 20 years old. The second born in a family of seven, staying with my aunt. I went up to my ninth grade. I am a believer in Christ. I so much wanted to be a Doctor, unfortunately I am a very slow leaner, that I failed to accomplish my desire. I have written my ninth grade examination four times, all in vain, and for this I could not go to the tenth grade without proper qualification. This is why I thought of going for my second option in life which is tailoring. I like sewing so much, because I like fashion a lot and this is why I joined this wonderful Sew Powerful group. My hobbies are sewing, watching movies, cooking, washing clothes, ironing, and going to church.
Our Schindler’s List Moment
A Special Note From Jason Miles
As we worked on this little fundraising page, and read the biographies of each seamstress trainee – we started to get the feeling that this was our Schindler’s List moment. (Not Jason & Cinnamon’s Schindler’s List moment, but all of our Schindler’s List moment together.)
If you’re not familiar with that reference – Oskar Schindler was a Polish business owner during World War II and through his efforts to find jobs for 1,200 Jews, they survived the war. His job was to get them a job.
The training over the last six months has given a huge gift to these precious ladies. But I have to believe we can do more. Esther and I have done the math – and to add them to the Sewing Cooperative as full-time employees – as well as provide them with all the fabric they’d need to begin making reusable hygiene pads – we need a total of $1,860 a month of ongoing support, ($22,320 a year).
If We Can Reach This New Goal: If we can raise this new budget – then in return – we’ll get the following programmatic benefits:
- Six amazing ladies will have a full-time regular job – doing well by doing good!
- They’ll produce 10,800 reusable feminine hygiene pads a year, (150 a month each).
- Those reusable hygiene pads will be added to the Sew Powerful Purses and will benefit 5,400 girls a year!
- The girls will collectively get 32,400 WEEKS of missing school back each year, (6 weeks per girl on average).
True Confession: I’ll be completely candid – if I had the $1,860 a month to personally donate to the program to add these ladies to the program, I’d simply write the check myself. Cinnamon and I started this program in 2009 as a personal project and for the first four years, we were (pretty much) the only monthly donors. But the program has grown beyond our ability to personally cover the costs – so we truly need your help. We are proud that Sew Powerful has an operating overhead rate of less than 4%, meaning 96% of all donations go directly to the Sewing Cooperative. They only expenses are our banking fees and a very small budget for things like printed flyers. Beyond that – all giving goes to directly support the seamstresses.
What If We Don’t Reach Our Goal: If we don’t raise the $1,860 a month our next steps become pretty pragmatic. We will hire as many of the six seamstresses as we can. Esther will be left to make that hard decision. But I’d prefer to not have to put her in that situation. The rest will be sent off with a prayer and our highest hope is that they can find a job as a seamstress. But the odds of that happening are candidly very low.
A Double Blessing: When the seamstresses in the cooperative are paid a good monthly income to make school uniforms (which parents pay for locally) and reusable feminine hygiene pads (which donors underwrite) they are doing well by doing good. We call these items “purposeful products” because they serve a great purpose locally in the pursuit of combating extreme poverty. So, the seamstresses are a blessing to the children in their community – and at the same time – they are improving their own personal income and blessing their household with s stable, good-paying job.
How You Can Help: Signing up as an Atelier Angel (monthly recurring donation) is the best way to help us plan for this new level of budgeting – your ongoing contribution will give us the predictable, stable, donations, to extend the offers of employment to the new seamstresses. If you’re an existing Atelier Angel at the $9, $19, or $29 level and want to upgrade to a higher level, you can learn how to do that here.
A Special Gift From The Seamstresses: We still have a limited number of hand-made clutches – made by the seamstresses in the cooperative (and personally autographed by them). We are happy to send those out to our new Atelier Angels while supplies last.
On behalf of each new graduates, the current seamstresses, and the Sew Powerful leadership team …
Thank you for your partnership and ongoing support for the ministry,
Jason & Cinnamon Miles
- Gift: Sign up at this level and receive a paperback copy of We Are Sew Powerful.
- Gift: Sign up at this level and receive a paperback copy of We Are Sew Powerful and the Purse Makers Journal as our special thank you gift.
- Gift: Sign up at this level and receive our special Fall 2017 Thank-You gifts including a handmade clutch, notebook, pin cushion, copy of We Are Sew Powerful, measuring tape, African print fat quarter, measuring tape and cute stone animal.