Projects - Economy - Sewing Group




A group of women from villages in Dedza have been supplied with sewing machines and trained to produce goods for sale. This provides their families with much needed extra income.

There is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of rock art in the Chongoni area of Dedza. The Malawi Government intended to build a tourist information centre for this site. A group of women from nearby villages was chosen to be trained to make items to sell to tourists. Anthea Eames, a Norwich artist, began to train the women to recycle paper and print cards. We also shipped a number of old manual sewing machines to Dedza and Anthea trained the women to use them to make aprons and other goods.

Aprons in local cloth

Aprons in local cloth

Sewing session

Sewing session

Sanitary pad

Sanitary pad

Because of lack of funds, the tourist information centre was not completed. However, the women found another outlet for their goods at the Dedza Pottery, a pottery and café visited by many tourists. They are now concentrating on sewing. Anthea has visited over a number of years to improve their skills and standard of work.

Another source of income opened up when the Partnership decided to do something to alleviate "period poverty" among girls at a Dedza secondary school. Anthea designed a sanitary pad that can be made from local materials and taught the women to make them. We buy the pads from the women and give them to the school for distribution to the girls. This gives the women a further regular income.