Life Stitches Project

Katherine Gnauck is working in Uganda with the Life Stitches Project, a non-governmental organization that economically empowers HIV/AIDS mothers.

By Katherine Gnauck

October 31, 2008

The first training session went very well. The building is 80% finished but still needs windows, doors, inside details, electrical wiring, and a toilet facility.  The inflation in Uganda is out of sight but fortunately the dollar is going up which could help our funds go further.

We set up shop in the hospital laundry with two tailors as trainers. I taught the tailors the stitching style for the two types of napkins which the women are going to sew. One of the tailors is the production supervisor. We need to continue to pay the two tailors $2000+ per year to help teach and supervise. 

A missionary ex-pat is going to help out each week to continue to train the women to make the napkins. We will also need $2000 to send an ex-pat in the spring of 2009 to teach and to supervise the setting up of the new business.

The women will contribute to a building fund and I told them I would find a donor to match each dollar up to $5000. The women are now empowered! The mothers found an NGO to donate nine Japanese sewing machines. All but two sewing machines are stored in a container awaiting the completion of the building. Eventually the plan is that the mothers will learn to make clothes and the majority of their business will be as local tailors and seamstresses.

A local tourist store in Kampala is going to carry the napkins, a fair trade store in Albuquerque will import them, and we will have a shopping cart on the web site. However, it will probably be a year until production reaches this stage.

The web site is registered and we will have a donation section, which will include some background information, within the next two months. The preliminary site is

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