Thusanang Sewing Project
The Thusanang Sewing project was started in Erasmus – a small rural community in South Africa. Aid Africa’s Children volunteers had spent time at the primary school in that area doing health assessments and HIV/AIDS prevention teaching. We saw a willingness and enthusiasm on the part of the school children’s mothers to seek out ways that they could help provide food and support for their families.
Volunteers worked closely with these women, teaching them basic business skills to help empower them, promoting dignity, accountability, and respect. The end result was increased productivity and a sense of pride in their work and their economic contribution to their families. They were also seen as leaders in their community and inspired and motivated others along the way. We also assisted these women in selling a portion of their finished products to a local Wisconsin Fair Trade Shop here in the United States.
This is what we mean when we say ‘one community, one child at a time’. By providing even the smallest group, sometimes even a single person, with the skills, confidence, and self respect to become independent, productive members of the community, we place in motion the wheels of change. We can help to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness. One of our continuing goals is to expand on small business ventures such as this in other rural communities.