LIFTED Uganda had its first training session a few weekends ago and it was a wonderful time!It’s hard for me to believe all of this started almost 3 years ago with the idea to make a baby bib for a gift for my cousin’s first baby!It is fascinating to me how God takes our little nuggets of creativity and passion and infuses them with LIFE and LOVE and PURPOSE! I love it!!
Mama Alice and baby Sarah teaching!
Our dear friend Alice was the first woman to start sewing the LIFTED bibs and she is producing high quality beautiful African bibs!Over the last 2 years, she’s been receiving the profits from the sales of the bibs and has been able to pay for school fees, medical bills, roofing material, and help support her grandparents, cousins, and orphans in her village.When I recently visited Alice, her whole family was so grateful for the opportunity that Alice has to earn extra money to help her village.
We have only just begun to envision what LIFTED will be! My desire is to see many women use their skills and creativity to create artwork that can be appreciated and used by people across the globe, while providing important income.We are in the process of selling the bibs in stores in the U.S. and Uganda.In order for us to take this next step, we needed to expand LIFTED and train 2 more women in sewing. So...Alice traveled 8 hrs. by bus from Arua to come teach the newest LIFTED ladies and she did an excellent job!! They quickly became friends and really enjoyed one another’s company over the weekend.We trained all day Saturday, half day on Sunday and then again on Monday! It was a long weekend but both ladies learned the steps for making bibs.
Mama Paska learning to hand stitch.
Our friends, who are church planting, have established an awesome community of people called Sojourn in Kampala.Check 'em out!The two women we trained in sewing are from the Sojourn community.Mary is mother to 2 little boys, married, and volunteering in the church.She and her husband lead worship in Sojourn church and Mary also teaches preschool.She is thrilled to be a part of LIFTED and already has proven to be a quick learner!Paska is a single mother to 7 children ranging from preschool age to high school.Her youngest daughter has a life altering disease that affects her ability to walk, talk, speak, and function.Paska is currently selling greens at the market and brings home $1.50 a day on good days.Feeding, clothing, and caring for 7 children on that income is a huge challenge!Paska will be doing most of the hand stitching of designs on the bibs.We hope to train her on the sewing machine in the near future.Paska and Mary worked very hard to learn the process and are still practicing on their own at home.
Mama Mary making her first bib!
Alice is teaching Paska how to trace a bib pattern
The women cutting bib patterns out of the beautful Ugandan waxcloth material
What a privilege to sit with these Ugandan women talking, laughing, working, and sharing food over the training weekend.I know these women have a strength that is unknown to me.I am sure they have struggled to provide for their children.I am sure they have cried out to God many times in desperation.I am sure they have persevered through hardships I’ll never experience, and through all of this,I am also very sure that these women know HOPE and JOY that is as real as the hot sun that beats down on the red African soil.Look upon their faces and you can see these women are treasures to be treasured.
So, what’s next?Sewing On! And on and on…. We are looking for retail stores that are interested in selling LIFTED Uganda bibs.My sister, Mekay and I are working hard to keep moving ahead with design ideas and selling.LIFTED also has a few volunteers that are a huge part of making LIFTED happen! Natalie, our graphic designer, is volunteering her time, creativity, and skills…Thanks Natalie!! Chloe, a mother to 2 and a heart for Africa and empowering women is marketing the bibs in several stores in Oklahoma. Thanks Chloe!!I am preparing a stock pile of bibs to market in the craft stores here in Kampala.We welcome any other connections to stores in the U.S. that are interested in selling products from Uganda that are fair trade and women-made.Please email me if you would like to be a voice for the women of Uganda and help spread the word on LIFTED bibs! We will have the latest batch of bibs to sell very soon...so come on back and buy a one-of-a-kind bib!