Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Workshop Comes to an End

The workshop for the Bitengye Designers came to a most successful end on Wednesday. Certificates were presented to all the women, and a draw made for some extra prizes. But the highlight of the day was showing Alice one of the two donated Featherweight sewing machines that she will take back to Rubingo with her. She was so excited! She already has plans to have solar power installed, and will be able to connect the sewing machines once the solar power is in place. The second machine didn't fit into our luggage this time, but will go to Uganda and to Alice the next time someone has a little extra space in their luggage. Then on Thursday the women packed
themselves and their luggage, sardine-style, into the "specials", booked to take them home to their villages. There were lots and lots of tears, probably because we told the ladies that we will likely not be back in Uganda until two years from now. Alice assured me that these were happy tears, not sad tears, but I think there was a bit of both. We told them we would not forget them, that we'd tell their story and sell the items they make wherever we can. It's a bitter-sweet thing to have them so independent now, and under Alice's capable leadership. We couldn't be more proud of all they've learned and the distance they've travelled over the two years
and three workshops we've conducted. But now it's time for us to withdraw a little, to let them fly on their own. I will continue to write about their individual stories, and of some of the things that have come out of our time here in Uganda, but in the meantime, I want you to know just how much your support of these women has meant to them. Their lives and the lives of their families have been improved so much. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to all of the Bitengye designers for all of their hard work and success! And to you too, Pippa. What an achievement for you all!