November 2016 update
October 2016 marked the beginning of an exciting opportunity for the women of Tunguli. The hand sewing machines shipped out over recent months began to come into operation, when 12 recruits joined a long-awaited sewing training course at the Health Centre. Under the expert guidance of Agnes and Evelynn, both trained tailors, the 12 women joined a 3 month sewing training course. For the first time they were able to produce clothes for themselves and their families.
On our visit in November 2016 It was exciting to be able to see first-hand the achievements of the newly formed sewing group. Each student had clothes that they proudly showed us – dresses for children as well as skirts, dresses and blouses for themselves. It was very encouraging to see the high level of achievement in just 3 months. We also saw the two solid tables and 12 chairs that had been generously donated by Arcaid, meaning that the students did not need to operate machines sitting on the floor – quite a challenge! We also delivered a generous supply of cotton reels and equipment kindly donated by many of our supporters.
The sewing project is significant in its link with another key project that supports women’s groups in the community, giving them a voice and opportunity. There are 11 ‘Tushikamane’ women’s groups being developed in Tunguli and its surrounding hamlets, delivering a maternal health programme. Several key projects have been identified that show the potential to provide an income in the longer term. Over the next few months we will follow their progress with interest. By November a further 28 women from Tunguli village and around had asked to join the sewing project, and Dr Alex Gongwe, the doctor in charge at the Health Centre, is already planning for the next phase. As well as arranging the next training course for new students, this phase will enable the current students to continue their sewing training with a level of independence.
While on our visit, at a meeting with a local government Ward Officer, the idea of developing a centre for producing school uniforms was proposed. This is a challenging but exciting prospect and one that we all see as providing great opportunities for the future. There are around 1,650 children currently attending local primary schools alone in the Tunguli ward.
Tunguli and its hamlets are already seeing the benefits of the sewing project. We will continue to nurture this initiative as it grows and value the part our supporters have played in this exciting venture.
As a charity Mission Morogoro works to empower the women of Tunguli village. We are very excited that this sewing project will give the villagers the opportunity to provide for their families. Hand sewing machines and supplies have already been shipped to Tanzania, providing everything needed to run the project. Our thanks go to the charities TWAM (Tools With A Mission) and Workaid for supplying and shipping the hand sewing machines.
A 3 week taster course (see pictures below) was held last autumn for 20 students. It proved a great success and more training was requested. This new course will run daily for 3 months from October 2016 in a room provided by the Health Centre. The course will be led by two local, experienced women tailors, Agnes and Evelyn. 12 local people have already enrolled and indications are that demand will far exceed this. Attendees will pay £2 per month to show their commitment and the total cost of running the course will be £550. We are now fundraising to finance this and ask for your support.
Mission Morogoro is very grateful for all donations.