Kasese, Uganda | Medrine’s Sew Shop
Kasase is a small community that has been an epicenter of tribal and political violence in the country. Human rights violations, extreme oppression of women, low life expectancy and lack of education past the age of 12 years old are just some of the serious issues this region faces. Organizations working in this area must be aware of the challenges faced by the residents which is why all PFF programming is geared towards long term solutions. During a visit to the region, the Foundation met a woman named Medrine while walking through the neighborhood to assess overall conditions for our first funded program in 2014, which was a small health center nearby. Medrine had a small facility and when we looked inside we saw two sewing machines and multiple dress patterns made from burlap sacks.
It was Medrine’s dream to have her own school to teach girls to sew their own school uniforms so that they could attend school, since girls must wear uniforms to attend and many cannot afford ones store bought. Medrine had taken the initiative to train a small group of girls in her neighborhood and had used this small building as her classroom. We knew right away that we wanted to help Medrine increase the size of her space and realize her dream.
Within the past year, Medrine, and her husband, presented a business plan aimed at growing her school to teach at least 50 girls a year. The Foundation provided her with a seed loan to cover the additional equipment needed, the rental a larger space, and a 6 month salary contract for her and a second teacher. She has the ability to empower many other women and girls by teaching them skills and has created a safe and productive environment for them. This most recent visit was as a reunion of hugs, smiles and tears of joy. As we drove up to her location, the girls were lined up beaming with pride and wearing matching dresses they had made themselves. With Medrine’s drive and commitment to growing her sewing school, she has the potential to change hundreds of girl’s lives.