Here at Susters4Life we are heading into the new year with our hands full – and our hearts even fuller! One of our many exciting projects for January 2019 was the start of training with the well-known sewing machine company Elna.
We received a generous donation from our Brothers in Humanity, Al-Imdaad Foundation. Al-Imdaad is a non-profit humanitarian aid relief organisation that works to help people facing poverty, natural or man-made disasters, and many other challenges. They provided us with five beautiful quality sewing machines and five overlockers, which we were keen to put to use immediately for a good cause.
Elna provided our NGO team with the first round of sewing training on 16th January. We were joined by some of our sisters from other local NGOs as well.
Restoring Women’s Dignity, One Stitch at a Time
So, what do we plan to do with these new sewing skills? Firstly, we have started making reusable cloth sanitary pads. Cloth pads can last for many months or even years with proper care. This makes them more affordable than ordinary single-use pads, especially for women and girls in underprivileged communities.
Too many women and girls in South Africa’s poor communities are unable to attend school or work during that time of the month, because of their lack of access to proper sanitary products. By making high quality reusable pads more readily available, we can help to make this issue a thing of the past.
As part of our plans for 2019, we hope to add a few more machines to our collection, and to provide sewing classes for some of the unemployed women in our trauma counselling programmes. By learning some essential sewing skills, these ladies will be able to start earning their own income, which is an important step toward feeling more empowered and independent.
Vivian Zilo of the Iliso Care Society in Khayelitsha, who attended the training with us, had this to say – “2019 is for connections and connecting with people with vision for change. Thank you to Susters4Life organisation for the opportunity to get sewing training at Elna today so to be able empower more women that are passionate about sewing business initiatives.”
A big thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Al-Imdaad, to Elna, and to all our sisters who attended! We can’t wait to help create more #SelfMadeWomen with our sewing training.