“I used to fear people and never went out of my home. I suffered domestic violence. Now, I am confident with the friendship I have found in the group.”
This is what Patricia from Nakakabala told us. Nakakabala is a village in an incredibly isolated and rural part of Uganda.
Their lives were full of suffering and hardship. Their children often had to dress in rags, and none of them had been to school. With no electricity and no mains water, every day was a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
In the face of all this hardship, it takes very strong people to take the initiative and attempt to transform their own situation. The women of the village did exactly that and formed a collective: The Nakakabala Women’s Group.
The group had very humble beginnings, starting off with just one TWAM sewing machine. All the women in the group shared this one machine between them, working night and day to make mats and clothes for the village. When we saw just how hard they worked with only one machine, we knew that we had to do something to help them even further.
We rallied our supporters and raised enough money to be able to give them four sewing machines at no cost. All of our tool recipients get the tools for free, but they make a small contribution towards shipping costs. Now, the village no longer relies purely on growing vegetables to make a living, tailoring has become their main income.
Every single child in the village is now able to go to school, and their school uniforms are all made by the group. They’ve come such a long way from having to wear rags, and all because of the courage and hard work of the Nakakabala Women’s Group.
They have even opened a bank account, where they collectively pool their savings. Members of the group can borrow money to set up their own projects, and pay the money back once they're earning.
One member tells us: “I have gained so much from the group. Now, I can make clothes for my children. They had no clothes before. I feel like I can look after them.”
These women are an endless source of inspiration, and all they needed was a little help to get them going. They thrived even with incredibly limited resources, and we're thrilled to see what they have achieved with their extra machines.
Just £25 would completely cover the costs of collecting and refurbishing a sewing machine for a group exactly like the Nakakabala Women's Group.
If you'd like to support our mission and send tools to people who are in great need of them, please consider giving us a donation. It all goes towards creating livelihoods.