The groups that receive our tools serve a wide range of vulnerable people in their communities, from young street orphans who never completed school to older people who are out of work and struggling to look after very large families.
Ruth worked hard all her life, selling charcoal and fritas (fried dough balls) on the street. This is one of the lowest-earning jobs in Zambia, and charcoal selling was actually made illegal a few years ago due to deforestation. Despite this, you still see charcoal sacks for sale along every road.
Ruth knew that what she was doing wasn't right, but over 90% of Zambia's rural population relies on charcoal to cook, so it was one of the only ways she could make any money. However, she still didn't earn nearly enough money to support her large family.
Ruth has five children and five grandchildren that she has looked after alone since her husband passed away. Her son also passed away a few years ago, leaving her responsible for his three children. This was simply unsustainable with the money that Ruth was earning, so she was in desperate need of an alternative.
One month before we met Ruth, she had heard that a tailoring group was starting up in a local school. She finally saw a way to put charcoal selling behind her and earn a sustainable income to support her entire family. She even saw the possibility of learning a skill that she could pass down to her children and grandchildren.
Ruth has just started her course, but she already sees how powerful the impact of her new skills will be. She tells us:
"Tailoring will change my life. I will be able to make money to feed my family. I've always wanted to learn tailoring, but I just haven't had the opportunity until now. I will start my own business when I graduate and work from home to support everyone under my roof."
It is only thanks to your support that we are able to send sewing machines to groups that will help people like Ruth, and for that, we thank you.
Could gift a sewing machine to someone just like Ruth for £25? This powerful tool would give a trainee tailor everything that they need to begin their training and break free from poverty.