Thanks to your donations the LifeStitches sewing workshop is nearing completion. Storage cabinets, cutting tables, ironing stands and new pedal sewing machines have been ordered. Move in is anticipated in late November. Global Health Partnership (GHP) President, and the GHP LifeStitches Project Coordinator will travel to Uganda in February 2011 for the building dedication. As always, GHP members volunteer their time and pay out of pocket for their own travel expenses to the project.
GHP Life Stitches project director visited the project site in Uganda this September 2010. The workshop members expressed a big thank you to all the Global Giving donors who have helped make their workshop and the new building space a reality. During this visit, meetings were held with the Aura Regional Hospital administrators to discuss increased partnership of LifeStitches with the Ministry of Health HIV/AIDS Maternal and Child health program to reach more pregnant HIV/AIDS mothers who could benefit from workshop training and economic empowerment opportunities.
Now that we have adequate workshop space, 2011 will be focused on development and capacity building of the workshop and increase membership beyond our current 40 active members. We plan to implement: (1) a sewing skills training course for new members using our senior members as the teacher/trainers; (2) an entrepreneur program to help senior members save and start up their own sewing businesses independent of the workshop; (3) leadership training for senior members in teaching and administration (4) basic literacy classes for unschooled members (5) increased peer support group HIV/AIDS outreach and education in the community.
Product development and production will be at the forefront of our efforts in 2011. We will be looking to increase training and income generating opportunities for as many new HIV/AIDS pregnant women and mothers who wish to join the workshop. Two examples of product expansion include two new pilot projects already underway - one is making quilt blankets, the other is weaving rag rugs. Both models are intended to recycle the end cut fabric from the napkins.
Here in the US, preparation for the fall 2010 private home napkin sales parties is underway. Thanks to our wonderful volunteer party hostesses sales will be held in five states this fall: Arizona, Colorado, Maryland , Montana and New Mexico. We anticipate selling out of these wonderful napkin products and some new clothing items added to the product line by the close of the 2010 holiday season.
Where does the money from the product sales go? 15% goes to our marketing costs here in the US; 22% goes directly to the mothers for their salary, fabric costs and maintenance of their workshop building; the remainder goes back into the project for workshop development and capacity building, members collective savings goals , and HIV/AIDS outreach education programs sponsored by the LifeStitches workshop members.
Please join us in this vital development and capacity building phase with your Global Giving donations to LifeStitches .