We work with many families in Katanga slum, teaching the parents how to live self sustainable lives, through various income generating activities, including; weaving bowls (picture below), cooking and hairdressing but we are now able to increase our teaching potential by a very generous donation of 15 sewing machines for us to use in Katanga Slum.
As he collected more and more sewing machines he thought it would be a great idea to make use of these machines, which have gone through a ‘re-birth’ of such, and give them to a charity that could put them to good use..
He drove many hours to transport the machines and spend the day with us, talking through how each machine worked and how to maintain such a machine.
I used an electric sewing machine to sew a cushion when I was about 12 years old in school, and a friend who was also learning said she was never good enough at sewing to get past sewing on paper. She finally got her chance to go beyond paper and use real material to sew on.
These are all very different machines to the modern electric sewing machines that we had seen before, but would be perfect for use in Uganda, where the power gets turned off every other day.
We invited a ‘sewing machine expert’, called Margret (click on this link to find her vintage sewing website) who lives local to us to come and talk us through some of these models as well. The sewing machines were mostly Singer machines that you use your hand to control the speed of the stitch. We found out the dates of each of these machines, which ranged from the newest, which was about the 1960’s, to the oldest, which was made in 1895.
These are unbelievably old machines, and it wasn’t until we were walked through how these machines worked did I realise how intricate, clever and durable they were.
Our plan is to learn exactly how these machines work, so that once they finally arrive, after being shipped to Uganda, we will be able to instruct our team and women in Uganda as to how to use/maintain them.