We are setting up a producer group in Akure and Idanre of the Ondo State of Nigeria. Our partner group will be pastored through Esther Mandate Ministries based in Ijapo Estate. Our CEO will be travelling to NIgeria for 3 weeks, from 12th October 2018.
Nigeria has seen a frightening increase in poverty over the last twenty years, with some predicting the situation can only get worse. Our efforts will only be a small drop in a vast ocean, but oceans would not exist without drops: we're keen to play our part.
We have a gracious Father God who we trust to do His will with what we offer.
We have raised sufficient funds to pay for all the practical aspects of the project (see below). We do however have a faith gap. During this 3 weeks training trip, we'd like to:
- contribute to the cost of having our CEO stay with our local hosts.
- contribute to our CEO's cost of living whilst away.
If you'd like to donate please use the Total Giving link or order a new dress from the links at the top of the page.
We will initially train a 3 strong 'focus group'. The focus group will spend 3 weeks improving their current sewing skills and learning the western styling techniques required to make the Dorcas Dress. They will also learn how to: work efficiently; produce high quality products; manage a budget; demonstration methods; and sales techniques. Our intention is to then team each focus group member up with 1 or 2 apprentices during the latter part of the programme, with the aim of sharing their new skills. This will mean the team will be able to sustainably grow.
Those in the focus group are:
- Olagunju is 26 years old. She has achieved her secondary school education but has not been able to continue her education or get a job “I come from a poor family so I can not afford to further my education. I have learnt to sew but have no money to buy a sewing machine and other equipment. Even if I had a sewing machine, there is nowhere for me to get money to establish a business”.
- Taiwo is 22 years old. She lost her father when she was quite young. Her mother has several other children, all of whom require her attention. Taiwo currently resorts to hawking fruits to help ends meet. She completed her secondary education two years ago but was unable to continue her education for lack of funds and as a result opted to learn a trade. She has a little skill in dressmaking and desires to improve it.
It is a common practice in Nigeria for apprentices and trainees to be under an obligation to buy and present “freedom” gifts to their training mistress/master at the completion of their apprenticeship. This is usually a large sums of money, out of reach for people from situations of hardship and poverty. This is the plight of these young girls.
Our fundraising campaign will change this situation, no freedom gifts will need to be found.
- Stella is 50 years old, single (never married) and lives in Akure. Stella is a trained tailor who has tried setting up her business but is financially handicapped and has no support. She does some jobs here and there which are not enough to support her.
Father God has inspired so many of you with such generosity. We are able to provide these women with some Hope. The project will provide: new skills; pastoral care; equipment; a enterprise selling locally; a supportive outreach network; and an opportunity to sell some items on a global setting, through us.
Your generous donations have so far provided:
- Fabrics: sufficient to make 20 dresses and a £100 budget to purchase fabric locally on arrival.
- Sewing machines:
- 2 donated hand crank sewing machines, both in the most beautiful condition.
- 2 robust electric domestic sewing machines, 1 of which was donated and one purchase off eBay (from a seller who generously dropped his asking price for the benefit of the project). We've sourced identical machines to ease servicing and maintenance.
- This variety of means of power will enable our beneficiaries to work, even at those times when the electricity is out, yet still benefit from the efficiency and speed of electric machines when it is available.
- An iron and ironing board:
- We've done our research and decided to provide a well made, small travel steam iron which has a very low wattage so it can run on electricity, or if necessary a generator without drinking too much expensive fuel, without pausing production. We'll sourced a standard iron for finishing locally.
- Cutting equipment:
- We received a whole batch of fabric shears through donations, along with a variety of other scissors. Thank you! We have purchase 2 pairs of small sharp 'detail' scissors from the fundraising pot.
- Hand tools:
- Wow! We received lots of tape measures, stitch unpickers, thread snips, pins, hand sewing needles, thimbles, tailors chalk and so much more. We've ordered a wholesale batch of sewing machine needles.
- Labelling, branding, packaging and administration stationary:
- We've used fundraised money to buy promotional cards, swing tickets, garment care labels, fibre content labels, postage sacks and triplicate pads.
- Sewing thread:
- All provided through donations.
- Flights, travel, visa, equipment shipping and insurance:
- By far the greatest expense, costing just shy of £1000.
- We have set aside an allowance for one years rent on a suitable workshop for our beneficiaries to safely run the project from.
- We have set aside payment for the dressmakers so we can make an initial start-up order of 20 dresses which we'd like to bring back to the UK to sell.