Friday, September 25, 2009

our workshop: under one roof

2009 On July 1, 2009, we brought all the tailors from the market, Bobi and Unyama to their new workplace: our workshop on Obiia Road. A [pink] modernist building with a flat roof and fake rock facade, which was once a home to a wealthy Acholi family. The spacious rooms are now home to our inventory, cutting, production floor, packing room and office.

After thinking we would buy some land and build, Halle stumbled upon this compound for rent and decided to take the leap. With some support from Greater Good, we made the downpayment to finish up renovations and moved in July 1. One Mango Tree has a home.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

our workshop: the IDP camps

2008 We quickly outgrew the space of our market stall, which was about 10 x 10 feet. Lucy brought on more tailors as we grew, but we knew we'd need more than six women sewing to meet the growing demand for our products. We won the Davis Project for Peace, which enabled us to expand our work into Bobi and Unyama - two internally displaced persons camps (IDP camps) outside of Gulu. We spent three months in each camp, training 10 women at each site to sew One Mango Tree products.

Auma Lucy trainging women at our site at Bobi IDP Camp

Aloyo Concy, learning to sew in our training at Unyama IDP Camp

Nagawa Grace, learning to sew in our training at Bobi IDP Camp

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

our workshop: the market stall

2007 One Mango Tree begins in a dark, cramped market stall

a walk down tailoring row - where it all began

we put up our first sign above the stall

Auma Lucy in the stall with Monica (left), Kevin (right) and Prisca (foreground)

For the first year and a half of One Mango Tree's existence, this market stall was our home. It's where I met Lucy, and where she still has her small business "Mama Lucy's Friendship Store." What was once a bare stall is now packed to the brim with kitenge fabrics and sewing machines. It's still the most popular place in the market.


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