The last time I spoke with Umuregwa, the first woman I bought a sewing machine for in Rwanda, the number of women she organized in her sewing association numbered ten. Of those ten women, only two of them owned their machines, while the other eight are still renting.
The reason I purchased the machines for two women, if you recall, is that rent for a sewing machine costs the equivalent of 33 USD per month, which is 66% of her gross income. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out most of what she is working for goes to paying for her machine and that in approximately four months she could buy a machine with what she pays in rent— if she were able to get ahead. This is money that she could be using to buy food and clothes for her children each month, or money she could be using to reinvest in her community, making it a better place to live. By building a park, for example. Or maybe a kindergarten. Or maybe medicine for her sick child.
My goal is to raise funds for purchasing eight sewing machines for the women who are still renting them, by December 25th, 2013. Wouldn’t it be a nice to make a significant difference in someone’s life that won’t cost you more than a night out at a movie or a cup of coffee? Now, I’m not suggesting you go without the pleasure of a buttery-popcorn-candy-filled night watching your favorite flick or a daily cup of pumpkin-spice-doughnut-flavored caffeinated deliciousness. Consider matching what you spend on an indulgence to feel the gratification of doing something more-- be something more. Right now. Today.
Make a donation in any amount as you appreciate the abundance in your life and then share it with others. By empowering these women with more financial influence, I believe they will become a more commanding voice in their communities. More money means more choices. More money means economic stability and independence for Rwandan women.
This holiday season, when your families are deciding to which charity to donate, please consider giving the gift of a sewing machine to a woman Musanze, Rwanda. Do a little more. Be a little more. Begin today.