This project was initiated in 2006 by keen sewer Jan Hemingway. She brought needles, thread, scissors and fabric and introduced sewing patterns to the Mothers Committee of Okhle. Such was the enthusiasm that the following year, another group brought 3 Singer hand sewing machines and showed the ladies how to use them.
In November 2008, another 3 machines together with spare parts and fabric were brought to Okhle. The 2007 machines are still in perfect working order and the ladies showed us examples of the trousers, shawls, dresses, blouses and skirts they had made.
To spread the benefits, the Okhle ladies have met with representatives from the villages of Ghala, Rbaje, Raipali and Kot Guan to share their knowledge with the other villages. A further £100 has also been donated to hire a local tailor to give the 5 ladies further instruction in using the machines.
There are plans to donate further machines on future trips, the difficulty being that only a limited number can be transported from the UK.
The sewing project allows the ladies of the villages to produce their own clothing, save money and even trade their work.
In 2009 a further 6 machines were taken out making 12 in total.
In 2010 we had some difficultygetting another 4 sewing machines into the country as a customs official took exception to our bringing old machines into the country. we pointed out that they were badly needed by the villagers and he eventually relented. In Okhle we met up with 3 ladies from the mothers Committee and we gave them £135 which will pay for a course in more advance sewing techniques for 4 representatives. Their acquired knowledge can then be passed on to the other villagers