Village Empowerment was contacted by two graduate students at the Savannah College of Art and Design (one is a masters student and the other is working towards her PhD).  Their studies are in the field design for women’s clothing and their aim is to support African women who are struggling with poverty, by providing them with employment that would include sewing for clothing designs.
Our Malawi Program Director, Linda Limbe,  happens to be an expert seamstress.  Linda has already trained several hundred women in sewing. With additional training many of these women could go on to be expert seamstresses like Linda.
SCAD would furnish the materials and the design for the clothing line.  Village Empowerment would provide the sewing machines and the building in which the women would be trained and work. We would start small with possibly 6 to 8 women to begin with.
How You Can Help
In 2009-10 several of our wonderful supporters in Boston, Washington DC, and the Los Angeles held small fund raising gatherings for Village Empowerment, at which I spoke.  A portion of  the money that was raised was earmarked for a building fund, that would create a much needed meeting place for trainings and gatherings of women from our Villages. 
The money raised to date has allowed us to purchase land in Blantyre (Malawi’s second largest city that is central to the majority of our Villages).   The photo below is a picture of myself with our Program Director,  Linda Limbe surveying the new land.  In addition to the land, volunteers from our villages have already made most of the bricks that will be used to build the building.
We have $5000 left in this building fund, but need to raise an estimated $25,000 additional to see it through.  Many of you in the past have expressed a desire to help and I share with you this opportunity to do so in a very meaningful way.  In the past I have been able to handle many of our expenses without having to write to people and ask for money, but this opportunity we need to move on immediately or lose the opportunity altogether.
To donate to this building fund, you may contact us directly (use our “contact us” page) or use this link to our “general fund.” Be sure to note “Malawi Building Fund” with your donation.
In addition, if you would like to create a fund raising campaign to assist in this project, please contact us to discuss.  (Again, send an email via our “contact us” page.)
We will keep you posted as this project develops.
Don Smith,
Founder of Village Empowerment
PS  Please join us at our new Facebook Page.  We are featuring new photos from the field each week and would love to connect with you there.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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