It is crowded in front of the blackboard when "our women" in Uganda show that they can now write and count.
The school headmaster wanted textbooks.
Now they have come!
The school has 1200 pupils in grades 1-7 and 14 teachers. One class in each grade, nearly 200 students per class. At each session, there are two teachers, one who teaches and the one who keeps order in the class.
When we visit the school in spring 2015 and ask the headmaster what is the most important the school needs, he replies immediately: LIBRARY.
It was the start of a collection organized by Livstycket directed to build a school library with training materials for all grade levels, according to the principal's greatest wish. Livstycket would also create the conditions for all children in the school to be able to get a nutritious meal during the school day by financing the lease of agricultural land where they grow corn, potatoes, beans, etc. For most children the school meal is the only real meal during the day.
So far we have collected about 25,000 kr. The main donors are Bokborsen , Kulla Hem & Samhälle, Zonta Stockholm IV och Sweef AB . A big thanks to all donors. Your contribution goes directly to the school and the children, and it really makes a difference.
If you want to make contribution, put money on Livstycket PG 643 56 39-7, mark payment "Uganda".
Help us to realize this idea. We cannot change everything, but that we can do!
2009 started Livstycket cooperation with Bunyole Women's Association (BWA), a women organization in Butaleja district, which goal is to help the most vulnerable women and girls in rural areas to create their own source of supply, and come out of extreme poverty.
During the first few years the cooperation was funded by the Swedish Institute. In 2011 we received funding from Forum Syd for a one-year project. We concentrated on BWA's handicraft group, where we were able to contribute with our own experiences. We focused on teaching about 30 women sewing, pattern design and fabric printing. 2013 we received funding from Forum Syd for a two-year project during 2013-2014.
In Uganda we had Christina Batte, a Swedish, living in Kampala for 25 years. Christina is a professional tailor with long experience and own tailor firm. She is passionate about women in Butaleja. Christina is both project manager and teacher in sewing.
In autumn 2010, we held our first workshop in sewing and fabric printing for the handicraft group. Only 1.5 years later, after a series of workshops in sewing, screen-printing, democracy and marketing, the group formed a well functioning cooperatives with a small shop where they take orders from schools and individuals.
The focus for 2013-2014 is young girls. 30 girls who learn sewing, pattern design, tie & dye technique and screen-printing but also raising children, hygiene and nutrition. A new topic is recycling design when women sew children clothes of the old men's shirts and learn to reuse things which previously ended up in the garbage.
The project has funded 20 tramp sewing machine, a computer and a printer. When we started the group owned a single tramp sewing machine. From private initiative group got a an overlock machine and an electric multifunctional sewing machine.
Already in 2012 the cooperative received orders for more than 500 school uniforms from schools and individuals, 50 Gomez (traditional dresses) and the shop became known in the district. Now that women can both sew the whole wedding set and color fabrics with tie & dye technique the has orders increased also from other places in the country. In short, a small miracle given how little funds were needed to implement it.
Women have gained a new self-confidence, new respect in the family, they've got quite a new role and a new voice. One of the women said that she thanks to the project: "got out of the kitchen into the front of the house"; another expressed: "Being a woman is no longer obstacles." Livstycket made a logo for BWA to promote their products.
Based on the women's drawings depicting their own lives Livstycket's designer, Gill Weibull, created an Africa pattern "Turn right at the big mango tree" following the directions we got when we went out to the villages for our first workshop. And we found the road !!!
Livstycket has supported the project with private funds raised among staff and members, to fund child care with real breakfast to kids during the workshop for young women, and to organize literacy lessons for 40 illiterate women two half days a week in April-December 2014. Many thanks to all of you who made a contribution!
"Turn right at the big mango tree"