Threads of Hope: A Chance for Change

Threads of Hope: A Chance for Change

From Emily Jansen

A chance for macro-level change begins by making an impact at the micro-level. Help educate and equip women entrepreneurs through this sewing partnership project in Kijabe Kenya.

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In May 2010, while living in Kenya, I accompanied my friend John Njane down to the Maimahiu Muniu region of Naivaisha Valley, near Kijabe, which is an hour drive outside of Nairobi.  We were visiting women impacted by AIDS and displaced following the January 2008 election violence.  

John had just kicked off a new sewing partnership project under his umbrella initiative, "Flow of Hope."  I casually recommended he make this sewing project its own entity and in the same vein, call it "Threads of Hope."  A few months later, I moved back home to D.C., with the intention to stay involved from afar.

Over the past five years, John Njane and others on the ground have built out a full-fledged, successful model for these women to acquire tangible sewing skills, be equipped with goods they need, and sell  items like school uniforms back to their local communities.

Where does Threads of Hope stand today?

Today, Threads of Hope has equipped and empowered nearly 30 female widows and AIDS victims of the Maai Mahui Valley with greater life confidence, skills, and economic opportunities. A mosquito net project was launched in the fall of 2013.  Construction training is complete and basic production of goods started in December 2013, with initial distribution to local communities since January of this year.  In January 2015, the women will roll out their next line of school uniforms. 

But there are so many more women in the community to help!   You have a Chance for Change.  Current needs are as follows.  Your gift can be allocated according to donor intent.

Housing: Right now, one house is used for storage space, with the other serving as the main house for production.  With no electricity, Threads of Hope requires its employees to use manual Singer sewing machines, donated by various supporters and missionaries.  There is not a lot of room for more than 20 women to sew on any given day, and a third building would be helpful to be built.  On top of that, each house is $100 USD for monthly Rent.

Sewing Machines: A micro-loan of $180 USD provides for a manual sewing machine.  As more women come in to learn how to sew, the more machines are needed!  

Instructors: The monthly salary for an instructor is $100 USD.  We are in need of a monthly supporter who can provide this salary, and a second supporter who is willing to help fund a second instructor. 

Basic Business Start-up: $100 USD provides the essential goods (patterns, needles, thread, scissors, seam-rippers, materials, fabrics, batting, etc.) for one individual's basic business start-up needs.

In-Kind Donations: There are simply some products that are better to have shipped into Kenya than bought on the ground.  

If you have sewing materials that you would like to donate and ship to Threads of Hope, please contact emilyjjansen@gmail.com.

Thank you for your consideration to support Threads of Hope.

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