11 May

SEW SISTERS LEBANON PROJECT (SALAM LEBANON)

SEW SISTERS LEBANON PROJECT (SALAM LEBANON) –
WHEN IS SEWING MACHINE NOT JUST A SEWING MACHINE?

Please if you have a sewing machine in good working order (we can get it serviced) we would love it to send to Lebanon and this is why…

A sewing machine helps lift a woman out of poverty and creates new jobs in her community. In Lebanon we are establishing a seamstress workshop for Syrian refugee women. There, the women will both learn the trade and produce garments that they can sell. In this way, they will all have the possibility to earn money and thus support their families. To a woman or girl in need in a country like a sewing machine you provide can be a doorway to a better life. The project will empower an orphaned teen, widow or wife so she can make a decent living as a seamstress to support herself and her family. Many women now are forced into prostitution to support their families and risk disease, sexual violence, degradation and being ostracised.

The project will involve setting up a micro-enterprise initiative for a women’s group in Lebanon’s impoverished Bekaa Valley, for the production and sale of sanitary towels and resuable nappies for children and adults to their immediate communities and surroundings villages. Right now, young girls and women cannot afford imported sanitary towels and are aid dependent for these and for nappies and incontinence wear. The goal of the project is to make available sanitary towels at low-cost prices to school-aged girls and women in the region and also to make goods which can be sold internationally online as an environmentally friendly alternative to disposal towels and nappies.

Existing Challenges:
The current practice is to use old rag cloths which cause leakages and present a high risk of infection. Due to possibility of leakages, the girls remain at home missing up to 1-1½ weeks every month of the year. This results in the girls falling behind in school work and ultimately dropping out of school. By dropping out of school, the girls are unable to complete their education and break the poverty cycle in their lives. Or the girls marry younger.

Unlike donated pads and nappies this project aims to create a degree of financial self-sufficiency and provide a long-term viable alternative to their current practice.

Goals:
Empowering mothers and young girls: This project will generate additional sources of income resulting in some degree of financial independence for the women. Running a business builds confidence by enabling the women to take control and ownership of their lives. The women would become role models for their daughters and young girls in these communities.

Stimulate a micro-economy: The project will help stimulate a micro- economy in the communities through the sale of cloth sanitary towels thus generating income. These goods can also be marketed to rural health programs for female health and family planning which will require a commitment from other NGOs in related health programs such as the Female Health and Family Planning workshops.

Lebanon uses the same 220v voltage as the UK, and Europe. Plugs will be replaced after testing.