What a difference a second-hand sewing machine makes

Namwano_Jennifer.jpgJennifer is 29 years old and lives with her husband and their five children in a temporary structure in the Namatala slum. They have lived there for five years since being forced to leave their village in the mountains, due to a terrible landslide that killed so many people in the villages in Bududa in eastern Uganda 

Jennifer’s family particularly depends upon agriculture for their survival and they always try and grow some crops on a small piece of land that they rent.  They grow crops like maize, beans and tomatoes, mainly used for home consumption.

Jennifer had previously been trained in tailoring and so has also been making some few clothes for sale in Namatala. She would rent the use of a sewing machine and the money that she made from selling the clothes helped to pay the rent. She had been doing this for three years but had not really been progressing with this work.

After going through our business training course, she felt that she could continue with the tailoring but now do things in a more business-like manner.  After submitting a business plan, we gave her a grant of about £25, which enabled her to purchase her own second-hand sewing machine 

So in May 2012 Jennifer was able to launch her new business on her own sewing machine, knowing that all the money that she would earn from making and selling clothes would now come solely to her and the family.

We visit her at home each week to chat through her business and her work and everything is going on extremely well. She fully grasped the business training and this has really empowered her and given her hope for the future.

Jennifer dreams of the family being able to have their own home again and so she is extremely committed to saving some of her income every week. So far, after just a few months, she has already managed to save a really encouraging sum of money.

Read a June 2014 update

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