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I'm funding myself to travel to Zambia with a friend to work with Rainbow Trust Africa, a Christian project in Livingstone, on their Granny's & Orphan's Project in Muzoka, a small railway town halfway between Livingstone and the capital Lusaka, where I will be staying for two weeks of the three I am in Zambia.
There, the AIDS epidemic, as in other parts of Zambia, has taken away a whole generation of people and left the Granny's bringing up their grandchildren. As a way to earn cash while looking after the children, we will be introducing six ladies to the joys of sewing. By machine and by hand, then cutting out and making simple items to be made in the wonderfully vibrant African fabrics found there. Items such as tote bags, shoulder bags, headbands, and if it goes well, progressing to simple dresses and shorts for children, to sell to tourists at Victoria Falls and on the local markets. Five donated sewing machines, two hand powered and three electric, of varying degrees of antiquity, have already arrived there from Britain in a container and are awaiting our arrival.
Some tools and items of equipment have also been donated by members of Rainbow Africa's mother church in Leicester, but we are desperately short of equipment such as good quality pins and needles, threads, cutting shears, embroidery scissors, buttons, qick-unpicks, machine needles and spools, elastic, bias tape, fastenings , velcro.......the list is long! All of these items are ridiculously expensive these days so I'm trying to raise £200.00 before 31st Oct to enable us to buy these things before we go. ( 29th Oct today, and we've raised over double this amount and are amazed and delighted by the response, but we're leaving the page open after we've gone to Zambia in case anyone feels inspired to add a little more to enable us to expand our horizons and buy newer sewing machines than the decidedly vintage ones currently out there, that will go in the next container shipment from Leicester)For me it will be an incredible life experience, joining people who's culture and life is so different from mine. As well as passing on the skills I've gained over my lifetime, in order to help these ladies gain an income, I know I'll be receiving just as much in return from what I'll learn about Zambian culture and the sights and sounds of Africa!
For the ladies, being able to make things to sell will make such a difference to these diminished families lives as only 2% of the population of Muzoka has any cash income at all at present and most of the children are hungry most of the time. Something we can't even begin to imagine.
Thank you very much for your help.