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Spreading joy through skills training

Something that we see time and time again through our work is that there are so many people who are willing to go above and beyond to support their communities. We see so many people selflessly dedicating themselves to improving the lives of the vulnerable people that they see around them.

Women in a classroom using sewing machines
The tailoring workshop at Joy Initiatives Uganda

One organisation that stands out is Joy Initiatives Uganda. This organisation has been helping people in their community since 2008, starting out in a small village offering people help with agriculture and beekeeping.

They wanted to train the local women who were raising their children with no income, no education, and no way out of poverty. Their training courses ended up being so successful that they received a grant to help fund them. They registered as an NGO in 2014, and as their income grew, they started to build their own tailoring workshop.

This is where TWAM came in. Joy Initiatives Uganda knew that the demand for training was substantial, but their reach was limited because they didn’t have enough tools to train everyone. They searched the internet for a way to acquire tools, and they found us.

Five people standing in front of a classroom
The Joy Initiatives Uganda team

They made their application, and mobilised their community to raise money for the shipping costs - we require applicants to pay a nominal amount towards shipping and logistics as a way of encouraging a sense of responsibility for their tools. The effort they put in to find this money ensures that they will use the tools as intended.

They received 4 TWAM sewing machines, and they now run a tailoring course which lasts 8-9 months, but trainees can extend that to a year if they don’t feel confident enough by the end of the course. They spread news about the course far and wide, making announcements in the community, on local radio stations, and in churches, so that any woman in need of the life-transforming training that they provide is able to receive it.

Florence, the Executive Director, says: “Please tell all your supporters how very grateful we all are for your tools. We have done so much to help vulnerable people because of them. Without them, we could do so little.

Smiling women in classroom
Joyce, the tailoring tutor at Joy Initiatives Uganda

Joyce, the tailoring tutor, tells us: “I heard about the tailoring course on the radio in 2016 and decided to join. I thought it would be good for me because it was my dream to be a tailor. When I finished my course, I started to work here as a tutor. I wanted the opportunity to teach others and share what I have been taught. I love fashion, and I love everything about tailoring. I have a dream to open my own workshop someday.

They are looking for additional space so that they can begin mechanics and carpentry courses. This group has provided such a valuable service to the local community since 2008, and they’ve continued to grow and impact more and more people, with no plans to slow down any time soon. We’re so pleased that TWAM tools are able to help inspiring organisations like Joy Initiatives Uganda.


Could you support a group just like Joy Initiatives Uganda with the gift of a sewing machine? Just £25 could cover the costs of collecting and refurbishing a sewing machine, which will be sent to a skills centre in Africa and used in life-transforming training courses.


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.

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