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Social enterprise brings young Kenyan mothers out of poverty

30 June 2016

Sew Women Can

The dress code is Melbourne 'black’. Each guest will choose a beautiful Sew Women Can scarf to add some African colour to their outfit and it’s all to raise funds for the Sew Women Can social enterprise.

Sew Women Can offers vulnerable young single mothers in Kenya vocational training in sewing clothes and making handicrafts. Once trained these women have the opportunity to join So They Can’s Micro-finance & Business School, complete the business course and start-up sewing and/or handicraft businesses of their own.

So They Can works together with communities and the governments of Kenya and Tanzania to educate and empower citizens to break the poverty cycle, realise their own potential and meet their own needs. So They Can founded the social enterprise Sew Women Can in 2014 and uses all profits from the business to support the operational costs of its other developmental projects.

Keri Chittenden – an Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence awardee – is the Project Implementation Officer for Kenya.

Recently, she held a fundraising event in the Sydney suburb of Paddington. The ticket included a handmade dress to be worn to the event (pictured above on one of the young women in the Sew Women Can project). The dress, made by women who are part of the Kenyan social enterprise, came in seven different colours.

Says Keri of the Sydney event: “The dresses connected two worlds to one another – the women in Sydney and the dress makers could see the immediate impact we can have on one another no matter how far apart we may seem.”

Sydney raised $10,000 for the Sew Women Can initiative. The event also introduced 30 new child sponsors to the So They Can child sponsorship program.

Melbourne’s version of the event is on August 11: book here.