top of page

Harriet's journey from poverty to successful businesswoman

Harriet is the perfect example of how successful people can be when they are given the right opportunities. She lived in complete poverty, barely getting by, so she made a decision which completely transformed her life.

Growing up, she only completed primary school, and told us that she ''attended a very bad school''. She was referring to the community schools for children whose families cannot afford the school fees charged by government schools. They have no qualified teachers, books, or even pencils and paper.

Her poor upbringing left her with very few opportunities, and she was never able to find employment. She now has two young sons, now aged 11 and 14, that she has raised and continues to raise completely alone.

Harriet tells us: ''My family did subsistence farming, and I did not want to do that. It is very hard and crops are not reliable. Also, there is never money for school fees, and I did not want my kids to grow up and not go to school.''

She couldn't afford to send her boys to school, she could barely even afford food and had no hope of ever having a home to call her own. Sadly, the lives of her sons looked to be heading for the same tragic spiral of poverty that had afflicted Harriet for her whole life.

Everything changed when Harriet make the decision to take her family's future into her own hands and started to attend a tailoring course with Mindset Development Organisation, TWAM's partner in Uganda.

She tells us: ''When I graduated and received my sewing machine, I started to work on someone's verandah for 2 years. It took me that long to save enough money to rent my shop. I have seen a big difference since I moved, as many people now walk past and ask for alterations and clothes.''

It isn't only Harriet's life that has been transformed by her new tailoring business - her sons now have a bright future ahead of them:

''Both my boys are in school, and both are top of their classes. God has blessed my children with wisdom, and one would like to be a doctor. I am happy, as long as they have an education and learn a skill.''

This is why TWAM exists: to transform lives completely through the provision of tools. Harriet and her sons' lives have been transformed forever, and her TWAM sewing machine played a huge role in that transformation.


There are so many more women like Harriet who desperately need the support and transformation that sewing machines can provide.

Could you fund a sewing machine for a vulnerable woman just like Harriet and give her family a brighter future?


We'd love to tell you more about the impact that we're having. If you'd like to see even more stories of livelihood creation, sign up for our email list and we'll keep you updated.

Quick Links

We take a wide variety of tools. Click the button above for the full list of accepted tools, and to find your nearest local collector or drop-off point.

Our work is mostly done by volunteers, whether that's driving around collecting tools, refurbishing them, or helping out in the office. Have a look at our roles.

Support our work by covering the costs involved with putting together a tool kit, as a donation, or an alternative gift on behalf of a loved one.

bottom of page