Sewing New Products, Sowing a Bright Future

sewing productsThe ECLT Foundation’s mission applies just as much to children ages 15 to 17 years old, who are legally allowed to work.

One such youth is Naomi Robert. Naomi is the proud owner of a sewing machine, donated by the ECLT Foundation-funded Urambo Tobacco Sector Project II in the Tabora region of Tanzania. Under the project, 405 families with children either in child labour or at risk of child labour were trained in income-generating activities. Naomi is one of six girls in the village who were trained in tailoring and given sewing machines.

“We were first given training for six months after which we were given sewing machines,” says Naomi. She notes that she can make various types of clothing for both men and women.

The sewing machine, she says, has helped her a great deal, because she can now afford to buy her daily needs.

“I love tailoring a lot,” says Naomi, adding that had it not been for the sewing machine, she would have to do casual labour in tobacco farms to get money. She says that it costs about 5,000 Tanzanian shillings to design a female dress, and that she gets an average of 150,000 shillings gross proceeds per month. The sewing machine is valued at 150,000 shillings.

Naomi’s ambition is to earn enough money to open a large tailoring shop and acquire an overlock machine, which is used for making interlocking stitches. Meanwhile, she will concentrate on improving her skills to capture more customers.

“Otherwise I am satisfied,” says Naomi, saying that she has pegged her hopes on the machine and that she certainly does not regret having trained as a tailor.