Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sewing Changes Lives in Afghanistan

Image source here.

This post on Modern Twist is so inspiring! She discusses efforts to help Afghan women, especially widows are among the most economically disadvantaged, learn to support themselves through sewing. Global Giving's Afghan Institute of Learning runs six-month sewing classes where women learn to sew, allowing them to make clothes for their families and/or open small businesses as tailors or sewing teachers. Other groups here in the US are collecting fabric, sewing supplies, and old-fashioned treadle sewing machines to send to Afghanistan so that the women have materials to sew with, since those are hard to come by locally.

A donation of as little as $10 to Global Giving will provide tools and supplies for one woman to take a six-month sewing course. Talk about a big impact!

I was interested, although not entirely surprised, to read this story, about a sewing-shop owner who's collected fabric, notions, and machines to send to Afghanistan but is having trouble finding a way to get the donated items delivered. Apparently, getting the items donated was the easy part- shipping through the military requires an extensive review process that will take too much time, and shipping through a commercial carrier will cost upwards of $5,000. I suspect it's not an uncommon problem for charities, especially those that accept donated items as opposed to cash donations. Collecting items to donate is the easy part, because it's fun and exciting for people to do. Funding and setting up a way to distribute those items is much harder- aren't the logistics always the hard part?

This is such a great idea, and it seems like it's really having a positive impact on the lives of Afghan Women. I'm planning to donate, and I've added a widget to my blog so you can, too.

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