Mazuri Designs is more than a sewing workshop that produces items for local customers in Kampala, and sells items to international customers on Etsy. We were established as part of the Sewing Our Futures program with Girl Up Initiative Uganda, which teaches young women vocational skills in sewing, tailoring and fashion design. The six-month program provides young unemployed women with the skills and confidence to become empowered women!
In 2016, four young women graduated from the program (two were hired to work at Mazuri Designs). For 2016, we had a competitive application process and we had to limit the number of trainees given the limited space in the workshop. We sought young women excited about the opportunity to learn a skill to improve their lives and who were willing to invest a small amount of money to purchase their own materials so that the training was viewed as an investment, not a hand-out. We are happy to announce that in 2017 Mazuri Designs and Girl Up Initiative Uganda enrolled seven new young women into the Sewing Our Futures program!
The young women seamstresses-in-training are learning quickly and doing a wonderful job! So far, they have learnt how to take measurements, how to cut the pattern paper, and sew straight and round skirts as well as fish-tail skirts.
Meet a few of the trainees!
The skill sets have come naturally to Anna, and she hasn't faced any challenges as of yet. The Mazuri head trainer has commented on both Anna's skill level and passion for her work, saying her performance is very promising.
Next up is Miriam! While language is a challenge for Miriam as she neither speaks a common local language, nor English very well, her will to succeed is exemplary. She is slowly catching up with the rest of the class by remaining focused on the tasks at hand.
Doreen is our third young women trainee. She is keeping up with the rest of the girls and shows love for what she is doing in the workshop. Her good attitude makes her a pleasure to be around.
We are very proud of Anna, Miriam, Doreen, and the other four seamstress trainees for their progress thus far and their dedication to learning sewing and tailoring skills. Our trainers remarked that this cohort of trainees arrive at class on time (which is no easy feat given the unpredictable nature of Kampala's terrible traffic jams), show up for every scheduled class, are fast at their work, and are not afraid to ask questions.
If you are inspired by our work and would like to support us, you can do so by purchasing a handmade Mazuri item from our Etsy store, or by making a donation to Girl Up Initiative Uganda to be used for the Sewing Our Futures program. If you are in Kampala, support us by coming by our workshop and hiring us as your preferred tailor!