Tag Archives: Singer

Sewing Machines Arriving in Uganda

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We are very excited to see the sewing machines have arrived in Uganda and made it safely into Hope for Life’s project centre. In March 2013 we were kindly donated some singer sewing machines by Duncan Hill, who is based up north in the UK. He contacted Hope for Life after collecting some old singer sewing machines that needed some TLC, once he had managed to get them back into working order Duncan decided he wanted to give them a new home with a charity who would be able to use them to benefit a group of people. Duncan was kind enough to bring them to Bristol and teach our team of people how to use, maintain and fix the machines, so we can pass our knowledge onto the ladies in our Livelihoods project in Katanga.

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Three of our good friends were going to go to Uganda in August 2013, to take on the roll of teaching the Ugandan ladies how to use, maintain and fix the machines. The machines went to their house for a few month so they could continue to practice their skills so they didn’t forget before getting to Uganda. We managed to book the sewing machines onto a flight to get them to Uganda. This is all Thanks to many people donating specially for this cause.

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We also collected many donations of material, pins, tailors chalk, needle threaders, tape measures, cotton thread, sewing patterns and un-pickers. We ended up sending the sewing machines out with a fantastic variety of start up equipment to get them going on their sewing adventure. A huge Thank You goes out to everyone who donated equipment and money to send the machines, without you it couldn’t have happened.

The machines arrived in Uganda safely, after hours of carefully wrapping the parts so they wouldn’t get damaged if they were thrown, dumped and squashed through their trip to Uganda.

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One of our Ugandan team, Francis, worked hard on getting the machines from the airport into the care of Hope for Life. Just as things were coming to a tight time schedule, the machines were released from the airport the day before Beth, Ellie and Laura where due to teach the ladies.

Beth, Ellie and Laura arrived meeting Francis and the machines which were still packaged. Their first job was to unpack the machines, which was harder that you would expect as we packed them so well.

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As the children were on school holidays for 2 weeks the ladies were able to use the space where the children usually have their lessons. The new building, which we bought, is not renovated yet and has no furniture in but will be used for livelihoods projects like sewing. After the girls met the mums/careers of the children in our school, they set to work teaching the ladies the basics of the machines and how to use them.

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The girls said they were surprised how quickly they picked it all up. First, sewing basic lines, then embroidering their names onto some material.

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Then, make a bag with 2 handles on, and put their embroided names onto the bags they have just made. Not bad for total beginners to complete in 2 days.

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They were measuring, chalking the outlines, pinning material together, cutting the material and sewing it together, which is all very impressive. As a few people were sharing each machine, they were all helping when someone got stuck, or both learning when Beth, Ellie or Laura came over to help.

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The Ladies concentrated hard and put a lot of effort into learning, there is still more practice needed to neaten things up but they have some skills they will be able to further and try new things. The Ladies will get the opportunity to receive a loan from Hope for Life if they wish to start sewing as a business, they may work together or individually, making and/or fixing clothes and accessories for individuals, schools or companies. We will update you on how things go and what route they decided to take but for now we can be happy that these ladies now have hope that there is something for them to focus towards and dream about for their future.

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You never know one day you could be putting a order in for an amazing top or bag they have made using these sewing machines.

Massive thanks to everyone who made this achievable and a special Thank you to Beth, Ellie and Laura for giving up their time to come to Hope for Life Katanga and for teaching these lovely Ladies.

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Journey of the Sewing Machines to Uganda – Part 1

Megan and I spent a solid day and a half packaging the sewing machines and then driving them to London, ready to be flown to Uganda.

They are due to be arriving in Uganda this afternoon (7th August 2013); we can’t wait for the women in Katanga to start using them for their businesses.

Keep an eye out for pictures of the sewing machines out and being used in the next few weeks.

Sending Singer sewing machines to Uganda

This year we received a very kind donation of 8 singer, sewing machines for us to take out to Uganda. We run a Livelihoods project for adults in Katanga slum, assisting them in starting businesses, though training, support and the giving of loans, so they are able to provide a sustainable income for their family.

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Our next aim is to send these machines out to Uganda and to do this we need £400.

Can you help donate towards sending the machines?

The best way to donate is through our Golden Giving page. Even what you feel is a small amount of money will go along way to helping us get these machines to Uganda. We will post lots of pictures of the machines as they arrive in Uganda, including pictures of the women in our Livelihoods program learning to use the machines.

Thanks for your help…

Donate by clicking the following link http://www.goldengiving.com/charity/hope-for-life-katanga

New sewing machines

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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.

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A great guy called Duncan found a number of neglected sewing machines that have been sitting in garages collecting dust, and decided he was able to refurbish and fix them were needs be.
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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..
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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.

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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.

The Ugandan women will continue to be able to make their clothes, with hand sewing machines, despite not having consistent electricity.  
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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.

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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.

IMG_9436We have really enjoyed our day today and really appreciate both Duncan and Margret, who took time to refurbish and instruct us how to use the machines. What do you think… Do you think they look good?