Sewing Project

Group Leader:

Dc. Walter Middleton | 0825611352

PATRICK’S SEWING PROJECT—FORMATION AND EMPOWERMENT OF MIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND LOCAL WOMEN.

In recent years South Africa has absorbed many refugees and migrants from surrounding countries who are fleeing political violence and lack of economic opportunities in their own countries. Unfortunately, they have not always been warmly welcomed. Many have also been forced to resort to activities such as drug- dealing and prostitution to support themselves and their families.

In order to help empower the migrants, refugees and the local women to start income generating projects, thereby creating employment for themselves and their communities, St. Patrick’s La Rochelle Catholic Church started a sewing project on June 2nd, 2016 under the direction of Deacon Walter Middleton who was able to obtain funding from Grassroots HeroesInternational(GHI), a small non-governmental organization based in the United States of America.  With some initial support from SVDP and the Parish, the sewing project was inaugurated on June 03, 2016 by Father Sergio Durigon.

Initially, 10 women were recruited. The aim was to help them start their own business or establish cooperatives thereby generating income for their families and creating jobs for other community members, who are finding it difficult to get employed in Johannesburg. The project is being run at the Old Catholic Bible College premises, adjacent to the Church. Each course is run for three months and during this period they are taught to make pillow cases, cushion covers, handbags, cell phone covers, pencil cases, etc. At the end of the three months, a graduation ceremony takes place and the ladies are provided with certificates. During the three months, the participants are given training in starting up their own business. Basic health and nutrition training is provided. So far over 80 women have been trained. Some have formed a cooperative and some are doing business from their homes. They are now able to stand on their own feet and provide for their families. The project is now under the Scalabrini order. GHI has continued to fund the project since 2016.

If you are interested to support the project by donating fabric, machines (new or used), money or buying some of the products produced by the ladies, please contact Dc. Walter Middleton