Meet “Urukondo Tailoring Self Help Group (SHG)” that has succeeded against all odds proving that if people come together with one common goal, they can achieve anything they set their minds to. Gatesi Clare who is the president of the group is credited for the initial idea as the founder. Her story is one of true transformation – after receiving training Moucecore gave in her community at her church on having a spiritual, social and economic transformation and how to achieve it, she knew she wanted to put into practice what she had learnt and started by talking to others and engaging them - “We started from nothing, no means but a desire to come out of the extreme poverty we were in; We knew where we were coming from and where we wanted to go. After receiving training from Moucecore, anything was possible. I had a changed mindset” Gatesi Clare.
April 2016, Urukundo SHG was formed; they started meeting weekly, saving a small amount of money and from the savings they bought seeds and decided to start as small scale farmers, cultivating a small plot of land given to them by a group member. They sold the first harvest (cabbage) and received Rwf 140,000. Not entirely satisfied by the progress they were achieving, they decided to think of other small income generating activities they could do, finally deciding on tailoring. It was decided that each member would bring what they could, a scissor, a needle, a sewing machine etc. With 2 sewing machines at hand, the next task was to learn how to sew because most group members did not know how (paying for a trainer), another task being to find fabric materials they could use. Group members would move around to other tailoring shops collecting small mismatched discarded fabric leftovers. Soon after, everything seemed to pick up; all members learnt how to cut, design and make beautiful clothes, hats, bags, and so much more. They soon found a market for their products, selling and buying more sewing machines from the profits.
In two and a half years now, Urukundo SHG has created a name for themselves. Creating full time jobs for 23 members (with working hours, payments, and shares on profits), they have attended and showcased they products around the country in different exhibitions receiving more recognition and offer of market, they have bought more sewing machines (plan to buy more), and continue saving weekly and planning for the future. Their story is story is an inspiring one to all who visit them. They have become an example in their community an example for true transformation. Moucecore staff keeps supporting them by visiting and following up on them.
Activity Photos: Below, SHG members busy working and a display of some of their products (clothes, curtains, baby carrier).