Our sewing business addresses Poverty - one of two root causes of many social ills in Botswana.
That is fact and stems from having attended various workshops run by the Botswana Government and have worked closely with relevant individuals and government departments who agree. We have continued to work with these bodies to ensure that we complement their efforts.
Our sewing business generates an income for the community and to enable TOP Banana to gain some degree of self sustainability.
We also have several other income generating ideas that need to be formulated in more detail and need someone to be able to devote time, energy and resources to them make them work.
What does it make?
So far, we have made overalls, school uniforms, bags made from used sails and various cultural products.
What impact does this have?
In addition to generating an income for the local community and contributing to TOP Banana's self-sufficiency and sustainability, it also adds to the financial empowerment of women. It is not uncommon for women in local communities to have to engage in transactional sex to generate an income. Generating an income for themselves means that there is less reliance on this, thus minimising the risk of contracting HIV / AIDS.
It also means that extra income is generated into the local economy. There is currently emphasis on increasing the rural economy to stem the migration of people, mainly the youth from the rural areas into towns and cities in search of work. Moreover, it increases the economic diversity of the economy generally which is largely dependent on Diamonds and Tourism as its income generators.
Who has supported this project?
We started the project by offering training on Domestic sized sewing machines. These were donated by individuals in the UK and by Sister Francis based in Sefare, Botswana.
We were then granted funding from the US Embassy in Gaborone to purchase 15 Industrial sized sewing machines and further funding from Barclays to provide training on these machines and to purchase fabric to start the business.
Who do we sell to?
We have sold to local farms and businesses, local choirs and to members of the public. We know that we are competing in the business world and have to run this as a profit making venture in a competitive environment and are endeavouring to do so.
We are always seeking new clients and would be keen to hear from you if you have a need.
We are currently speaking with several organisations to make and sell bags from used sails.