Every morning, Abigail takes a beautiful piece of brightly patterned cloth, wraps her infant daughter, Lukaya, in it and winds it around her upper waist to secure the baby on her back for the day. Then she makes the hour-long walk from her village of Dumakyi to the sewing shop in Ankaase where she is a seamstress apprentice. She is in her second year of her apprenticeship, and is grateful to still be sewing.
It would have been easy for Abigail to quit after the first year of her apprenticeship. She became pregnant, and after giving birth to Lukaya, was told the seamstress she was working with could not accommodate an infant in her shop. But Abigail loves to sew and she wasn’t giving up. Even though she did not own a machine and now had no place to sew, she was still determined to remain an apprentice.
She found a seamstress in Ankaase who not only spoke her tribal language, but was happy to have baby Lukaya in the shop. But there was a problem: Abigail did not own a machine or any supplies for sewing and had no way to fund her entrance into the new program. She learned about Rising Village’s Income Generation program when we began working in her village a few weeks earlier and she asked to be assessed to enter the program. She was admitted to the program and received an Apprenticeship Grant for a machine, supplies and entrance fee.
Recently, items that would be for sale at an event here in the U.S. were couriered from Ghana. Abigail and Jennifer, another apprentice, had learned to stitch the cross body bag that we sell in the U.S. Abigail stitched some of the bags, headbands, and table runners as we had requested, but in addition, she expressed the desire to sew more items. She had no money to purchase fabric, but we provided her with beautiful wax fabric and she stitched two dresses for little girls. She wanted to do more, but time ran out and the items had to be taken to the courier.
It is obvious that Abigail loves to sew and we want her to have every opportunity to do what she loves so that she can provide for Lukaya. We are offering donors the opportunity to purchase fabric for sewing projects for seamstress apprentices like Abigail who are in our Income Generation program. For $25 you can provide beautiful wax fabric that the apprentices will use to sew additional items for sale here in the U.S. Apprentices do not earn income, and this gives them the opportunity to learn their craft and provide for their children during their apprenticeship.
Additional items from apprentices and seamstresses in Ghana will be available for purchase during the upcoming holiday season. We’ll have details in the October newsletter about how you can purchase items stitched by apprentices and seamstresses.
You can purchase fabric for an apprentice here.