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Sewing Machines for Rwanda Mothers' Union
Ringmer Mothers' Union coffee morning fundraising for an MU project in Rwanda helping disadvantaged women.
In January 2019 Sue Clyde, a member of Ringmer MU, and Margaret Sweatman who is on Ringmer PCC, went to Rwanda, as part of a group organised by the charity Life in Abundance. They were visiting the Diocese of Cyangugu and had already heard about a MU project there to help disadvantaged women. MU member Berthe, the wife of the Bishop of Cyangugu, realized that there were many young single mothers abandoned by their families. These women barely have enough to feed their children, earning a few francs for example by hoeing for a neighbour, and most mothers go hungry themselves in order to feed their children. She decided to set up a MU project to teach these young women tailoring in order to give them skills to earn more money. They only had a few sewing machines for the whole group to use and would like more so that they could help more women. They could then sell what they produce and thereby earn more money, giving them the dignity of being able to feed their family.
Ringmer MU decided to hold a coffee morning and raise enough money to buy at least one of the treadle sewing machines they use - each one costs about £90 and is sourced locally. The coffee morning was advertised widely and immediately people started to give us money, some people even gave enough to buy a whole machine. The final sum raised was £2,000, far more than we had dared to hope. This was a very practical project organised by the Rwandan MU members themselves and we knew that all the money collected was going straight to them and this obviously appealed to our church community. This money was transferred to a special account of Life in Abundance in Rwanda so that the gift could be given in Rwandan currency to the MU in Cyangugu. Sue and Margaret gave this two million francs, into the hands of Berthe and Esther, as cash – in a brown paper bag!
Written by Shirley Squires
Sourced from the Chichester link