Haitian ingenuity

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Ellen Schreder and Abbie Fliegel recently traveled to Haiti and spent a week with seamstresses from both Ranquitte and Limbe teaching topics that ranged from sewing machine repair to menstrual health hygiene. There was so much good that came out of this week that we will be posting regular updates and stories.

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Ranquitte is in a more rural location than our first sewing center in Limbe. The seamstresses here often lack electricity as gas for the generators is expensive and needs to be hauled from Cap Haitian, 3 hours away. They have treadle sewing machines, but these machines lack the zigzag stitch that is needed to construct some of the components of the menstrual pad kits. Using Haitian ingenuity, they have utilized the electric machines that have a zig zag stitch by inserting the electric machine into the treadle machine base and using a treadle machine belt around the wheel of the electric machine. They are able to power the machine by using their feet on the treadle base! No electricity required and they can sew both straight stitch and zig zag.

We are hoping their ingenuity will only be a temporary solution as we are working to get solar panels installed on the roof of the sewing center so that electricity is readily available and free.

Please consider joining us on Saturday, October 22nd from 9 am to 4 pm (come for just a few hours or stay all day) as we cut components of the menstrual pad kits for our Haitian seamstresses as well as sew completed kits for distribution to schools throughout the world. We will be sewing at St Mary”s of the Lake in Plymouth. Potluck lunch. Plenty of jobs for both sewers and non-sewers. Bring sharp scissors and/or sewing machine. Hope to see some new faces.