Sew Much MoreRich Stigall
On the road to Kampala after a meaningful 20 hours in Gulu. Last night we had an encouraging meeting with The Father’s House management committee. We spent this morning at the Sewing Center in Gulu. I left with a deeper appreciation for the challenges of building a business in the Third World. This year alone the center has dealt with hurdles like increasing food prices (making it unreasonable to help workers with lunch), unreliable electrical power, and high government spending on this year’s election (sucking money out of the education system, resulting in schools closing).
In this volatile environment, the partnership with the local church is huge! For instance the Lira Diocese contains more than 50 schools. In the third month of operation, Godfrey’s (the sewing center manager) team is already working with a stable of five, local schools, leaving 45 more as potential clients. The school uniform line helps deliver the economies of scale required to compete for additional business in industries like nursing, catering, hotels, and nursery schools.
The Lira Sewing Center alone employs 12 tailors who specialize in buttons, shirts, shorts, dresses, ironing, ordering, management, over locking (seam reinforcement), and machine mx. All of these positions are paid by each unit produced, and each worker (many of whom were men) have families depending on them. What a great team!
After visiting with the tailors, we went to a local, primary school and watched as the school leadership passed out new uniforms to dozens of children. I wish you could have been here! It was wonderful. In the coming days we will do our best to share more stories of transformation and renewal that God is accomplishing through your generosity and the hard work of our partners. For now, please know we are more convinced than ever that investments in these sewing centers are among the best we can make!
There is so much more to this than sewing. The need is real and heart wrenching. In fact, nothing short of the movement of the hand of God is required.
For today, I leave you with a quote from Reverend Willie Akena in Gulu —
“If we can make 20 shirts a day, then how can we not send a child to school?”
Thank you for caring for His children!