In 2016, the women from Springton Lake Presbyterian Church approached Pamoza with a common request we hear from our partners: “what can we do to help?” They wanted to engage in a project that would help women in Malawi.
We asked them to pray and gave them profiles of 25 women in Malawi. As they prayed for their sisters in Malawi, 8,000 miles away, they noticed the women were struggling with providing the most basic essentials for their children, including school uniforms. Sherry Hall, one of the ladies of SLPC, was particularly moved when she found out how difficult it was for some children to attend school because their families couldn’t afford uniforms.
“When my mother’s heart heard that; it had such a huge impact on me. The women have so many needs in Malawi, but a sewing machine was something we could provide to make a difference. We could do something about this.” And so began the Sew What? project.
With the leadership of Becki Marshall and Sherry Hall, the ladies at SLPC facilitated a mini health retreat in March. The goal of the mini retreat was “women helping women near and far”. Local experts were brought in to talk about health issues affecting women, but the event also highlighted the needs of women in Malawi and encouraged those in attendance to donate money towards sewing machines. A sewing machine costs approximately $70 in Malawi. The members of SLPC successfully collected over $2,000 towards the project!
Sew What? Now What?
Pamoza’s approach for sustainable community development is to work alongside the people to envision the changes they want to see in their community and to partner with them to make those changes a reality.
We know families in rural Malawi have a difficult time affording school uniforms. Now we are going to engage the schools and the community in thinking of the best way to address this problem in a manner that uplifts the community, encourages women, and can be sustained by the individuals benefiting from it. Stay tuned as this project progresses.