Sunday, January 3, 2010

new year, new faces

After enjoying a holiday week with their families, the One Mango Tree tailors were back at the workshop - with some new faces in the crowd.

The new year kicked off a new training program, inviting ten women to learn how to make One Mango Tree products. These women are part of our partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM). In late 2009, we won an in-kind grant that enabled us to purchase equipment in exchange for providing training and jobs for ten of IOM's most vulnerable referrals - mostly women who are ex-combatants.

Aside from learning a useful skill and earning a sustainable income, the job training we provide has a huge indirect benefit - building community. In a survey of our tailors last fall, we asked their favorite part of the job: "singing, laughing and working with the other ladies." The tailors form a tight-knit community, helping each other through hard times and providing much-needed emotional support. For our new ladies from IOM, this support is exactly what they need - and exactly what is needed to stitch Northern Uganda back together.

Stay tuned for updates on this initial training, which is led by Auma Lucy (aka Mama Lucy) and lasts three months. Check out the photo, above right, of Mama Lucy with our new trainees, going over the basics of caring for the machines.

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