Amidst everything else we have going on, sometimes the quiet and persistent work of the women’s sewing project gets overlooked. We have 8 refugee and local women right now regularly sewing a variety of items that we then “purchase” back from them to distribute to needy families.
This is giving a small supplemental income to these women and their families. In turn, it is giving us quality, hand-made items we can pass along to the broader community we serve. We provide the materials, they provide the labor, and the community benefits from the end product!
What are the women making? We have two primary items we’ve directed them to produce this year. The first is cloth diapers for newborns and infants up to about 1 year of age. Due to inflation and the general poverty here, diapers are relatively expensive.
Some poor families, unable to afford diapers, may just wrap the baby in a towel or cloth. This leads to diaper rash, infection, and other problems. The cloth diapers we are able to give them fill that gap, and are in demand by those with newborns in the community! If well taken care of, the diapers are re-washable numerous times, and reduce the need for costly throw-away diapers.
The second item they are making are washable sanitary pads for women. A common issue out here amongst the poor and refugees is a lack of ability to buy sanitary pads for women experiencing their monthly menstruation. This leads to many having to use old rags, if they even have that.
Our head seamstress designed and produced a reasonable alternative to rags with a reusable, washable pad with velcro wings. From reports we’ve gotten, it seems to work well, and is a much better option than an old rag, and far cleaner. This provides a service to women, made by women, and removes some of the humiliation and hardship of poverty for them.
How You Can Pray For The Women’s Sewing Ministry
Pray we could wisely determine how to expand and include more women in this program. Demand for the diapers and pads matches our current supply. In the absence of new ideas for things that could help the community, we don’t have a need, or even funding, to add beyond the 8 current women. We’ve prayed about rotating out new women to replace the older, experienced ones, but are also cautious of the hardship this could bring upon women depending on this weekly income to cover household needs. If you are reading this and know how to sew, and have ideas and patterns for us on things useful to poor communities, please contact us and let us know!
Thank you again for your prayers and support. This is a work bigger than any of us, but not bigger then God or His church! If you wish to be involved in any way, you can support TGI via our site, sign up for our relief updates e-mail newsletter to better know how to pray, or contact us if you are interested in knowing more about how to be personally involved.