Sewing to help women in Africa

The cutting counter line at a fabric store is always a great place to meet people! I’m one of those who like to know what everyone else is making, especially in the case of today, when the woman in front of me was buying bolts of fabric. Not just yards, bolts! As I watched them unroll and measure it all, I just had to ask what she was making. In my head I was thinking quilts or blankets, maybe Christmas presents… but, I was wrong. What she was doing was helping women in Africa. Her name is Lori and she works for a non-profit called Empower Women in Africa. The group makes cloth pads for women living in poverty who cannot always just go to the store for these necessities. To date they have made and sent cloth pads to over 1,600 girls, and they are always looking for others who want to help. So, if you are looking for an easy afternoon sewing project, or a way to use your sewing skills to help women in Africa, this is it!

Here’s their website: Empower Women in Africa

I think what they are doing is an awesome idea and a great way to help others. What do you think?

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4 Responses to Sewing to help women in Africa

  1. Jane C. says:

    Sounds like a great idea, although part of me thinks that the monies should be spent not on the petrol getting the cloths there but at a micro-finance org such as Kiva.
    I just finisher reading Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline. Lots of issues in this book.Great interview with the author at patternreview dot com.

  2. Rachel B says:

    Jane C., I wonder if you’ve looked at the loans on Kiva – the majority are loans to individuals to improve themselves by starting their own businesses through agriculture, groceries, bars, or selling clothing. While there is nothing wrong with this type of program, I personally think micro-finance is a wonderful way to help change lives, it does not address systemic issues like how to ensure menstruating girls don’t miss school because of their periods.

    Would it be better if this project was adopted by local African governments to ensure all girls are granted access to basic necessities? Yes. However, the likelihood of this is small. Therefore, projects like this tend to take place overseas. While the project maintains an environmental footprint it also maintains a social footprint – improving the lives of young girls through a very small piece of cloth. It’s up to you to decide which footprint makes the biggest impact.

  3. Adriaan says:

    This sounds like a great idea! and after looking at the website, Empower Women in Africa does so much more than just sew pads. They provide scholarships to keep girls in school and they help women to start pad making businesses to help the women earn an income and help the girls get a much needed product. All worthwhile goals and many ways for anyone to help! Thanks Ashley for spreading the word.

  4. emma says:

    i would like to learn about sewing im a single woman, working as a domestic worker and i would like to make more money for my kids school fees.

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