In 2005 the Sewing Machine Project sent 25 sewing machines to orphanages in Sri Lanka, offering the children a tool to learn a trade and the caretakers a tool to make clothing for the children.
We have donated machines to the ranchos La Joya and La Cruz del Palmar in San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato in the central highlands of Mexico. Up to 84 women work out of the cooperative, sewing goods to sell and support themselves. The women are gradually seeing the completion of a new sewing center on the Rancho where they live and once completed, the SMP will supply machines for their sewing center.
In 2009 we delivered 19 machines to Skenderaj, Kosovo. 16 of these machines were donated by Bernina, International of Steckborn, Switzerland. The Antigona NGO of Skenderaj will use the machines for custom garment sewing as well as to train new sewers to add to their group. There are so many war widows in this region and we are pleased to be able to help them to become self-sustaining through sewing.
We have shipped machines to the Apne Aap group in New Delhi, India. Apne Aap means “on our own” and this fine organization empowers young women by teaching sewing skills so that they will have a reliable source of income to keep them out of the sex trades.
Habitat for Humanity workers hand deliver SMP machines to the “Strengthening the Community” project in the Getsemani Community in Ahuachapan, El Salvador. Sewing students are creating items to sell to support their families.
Our most recent international shipment was to Panajachel, Guatemala, arriving in February, 2013. 83 machines made their way to the Mayan Families group whose mission is to “Educate, Feed, Shelter, Heal”. They have a sewing program that just keeps growing as students learn new skills for supporting their families and communities. Additionally, we send machines to missions in Patzun, Guatemala, where community members learn to sew for their families and create pieces to sell.