We collect and distribute tools and knowledge that people need to work, escape poverty and improve their communities.
In light of the tremendous success we have had distributing sewing machines, patterns and setting up sewing micro-businesses, we have launched Sewn Together as a distinct program. The patchwork heart logo reflects the flags of Haiti, Honduras and Tanzania - the three countries where ToolLife was first involved. It's easy to forget that sewing machines are viewed as tools in developing countries, offering men and women rare opportunities to make a living. And because they can be used by children in their early teens, they can be part of a strategy to protect kids from exploitation when they age out of orphanages and foster programs.
Twenty Sewing Machines Delivered
ToolLife delivered 20 new sewing machines donated by Singer to an orphanage in Moldova to start a sewing center.
Plan Developed with Partner in Haiti
Providing tools is just one part of what we do. A great example is Timkatec school, our partner in Port-au-Prince. It educates, feeds, shelters, and clothes 650 orphans and "street kids", requiring all graduates to learn a vocational skill. During a January visit, our Executive Director suggested and developed a plan for the sewing students to make the other kids' uniforms. By providing the machines, fabric and custom patterns,
we could help the school save $14,000 each year while providing valuable training. In addition, we will work to raise funds so every vocational student will receive at graduation a tool kit in their trade - either sewing, culinary, electrical, plumbing or masonry.
Micro-Biz Projects in Honduras Proceed
We are extremely excited about the progress of our collaboration with 147 Million Orphans in Mt. Olivas, Honduras. The woodshop, equipped with donations of hand tools, a power saw, router, routing table and generator, is actively producing and selling doors. The sewing program - with the help of Will & Ivey clothing company - is making baby blue jeans and girls dresses repurposed from men's shirts. We are proud to have contributed to these projects with tools, custom clothing patterns, and advice. The prospect of the wonderful families of Mt. Olivas moving towards self-sufficiency - 2 years removed from abject poverty - is truly thrilling.