May I properly introduce you to some of the people that work at TANU, a vocational skills centre, based in Eastern Uganda.
It has been a huge privilege to work with the whole TANU community, and an honour to say that The Dorcas Dress Project is one of their partners. I thank Jerry from TEN communities for introducing us. May I take this opportunity to introduce you to Joel, Rachel, Eveline and Regina, some of the people who all work at the centre. Joel managers the centre and oversees all the vocational programmes which include, carpentry, building, computer repair and tailoring. We asked each of them what their favourite colour was and why.
The ladies have been really busy increasing their efficiency on the sewing machines. It has been a joy to join them on zoom to virtually participate in classes, help them diagnose issues with their sewing machines so they can repair them, and participate in community worship and conversation. Here you can see Rachael, the Production Manager overseeing the paper pattern preparation, fabric cutting and sewing.
My What’sApp feed has been busy with photographs and smiles. I hope you enjoy these photographs as much as I did when I received them.
This feels like a little milestone for us here at The Dorcas Dress Project. This is the first time we have been able to present a range of dresses where we have wholly and solely relied on our virtual learning environment and online zoom classrooms to learn together and more importantly for me, grow a community across continents. If you’d like to see some of the resources we use you can sign in as a guest. Everyone has been really busy preparing a package of lovely dresses. These arrived earlier this week. What do you think?
We’re trialing out a new variation on our pricing structure. So you will notice when you visit our shop that these dresses really are a very reasonable price. We hope that will encourage you to order one: the more orders we make, the greater impact we can make, together, to be a part of a growing and thriving community. This offer is available for 6 weeks only, so act fast! And if you’d like to add a donation into your basket at the same time then that will help us deliver our online classes, continue producing excellent online virtual learning and help us expand and serve other sewing hubs.
We are hoping, for example, to help Christine set up a sewing hub in Western Kenya. Christine explains how due to the challenges of living in poverty, girls are often forced not to finish their schooling, either because they are needed to financially support their families, their families can not afford to pay for their education, or because of poverty marry very young.
They have made fantastic progress as they build a community space to meet, worship and teach from. Christine is a well qualified, specialising in agriculture and a keen dressmaker too (no surprise there!). She is also a wonderful ambassador amongst her community, teaching and encouraging those around her to be the best they can be.
Isn’t the scenery beautiful!
There are so many ways to support us. Buying something is a win for us and a win for you too!
I attended a prayer meeting this morning, with Great Lakes Outreach, one of our other partner organisations (more news from Burundi very, very soon!!). During the devotional time Roger focused on Psalm 91 and the shadow of the Father’s wing. He explained how it provided a place of security, a place of refuge and a protective shield.
We have been venturing into new ground in the UK: working with asylum seekers living in destitution in hotels. It has been a steep learning curve over the last few months. We’ve learnt about needs and wants. We’ve discovered the power of persuasion can often be at the detriment of the timid. And we’ve realised that life is never as simple as it seems.
Pray with us for security as we stand up amongst giants: as we meet with authorities who have the power to love and demonstrate compassion; as we compete alongside big fashion brands for a tiny foothold in the retail market. Pray for us to be a place of refuge for everyone that comes to a sewing hub, that they would find a place of peace and reconciliation, a place to dwell and know that they are loved, and a place where we can share our skills and love of dressmaking in way that grows friendships and builds community. And pray for a protective shield, in this mornings meeting this was a reflection on our failings, so we pray that in all our doings and conversations there is grace, grace to fail, grace when we act inappropriately and therefore grace to apologise and grace to enjoy simple fellowship together.
May the coming weeks be ones of bounty and plenty for you all.
And The Dorcas Dress Project team
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