In White Water, an Amerindian village near to the Venezuelan border, there is only one women's group that is presently hanging on a thread. It is a sewing group who share one debilitated sewing machine, do not have funds for materials, and are thus unable to enjoy the companionship of their fellow female community members during group meetings.
The FROG grant will provide the White Creek Sewing Club with funds to purchase/repair sewing machines, while gathering materials and supplies, helping to lay a foundation for current/future sewing projects.
The main area that the group wanted assistance with was their sewing section. Presently, the sewing machines available were missing parts, and the group lacked materials and resources to upstart their projects. They decided as a group to use the funds to purchase these items.
The funds were spent on two separate trips to Georgetown. This was done so the group could review the items bought and make further recommendations for the second trip to Georgetown. At the meetings, which consisted of four total, health talks with content involving women's health were discussed. The group would then choose a topic to discuss at the next meeting. These subjects included material on HIV/AIDS, breastfeeding, and maternal health.
The women are hoping to use the materials to sew products such as accessories and clothing at community functions and use the money to further their group's finances. Presently they have saved $19,190 GYD with a collection of $100 GYD per month from participating members.
Immediate: The women' group has now gained valuable tools to help promote their finances, which they will use towards management of the group and other community efforts. Meeting together will strengthen their relationships with each other and provide the women with a job/hobby outside of the household.
Long-term: Successes observed will spark interest of not only women over 25, but also a younger crowd. A variety of items can be made that interest the youth of the community and may influence the desire to learn a craft of their own. Participating in the sewing group will also be a great hobby and healthy activity for the youth of White Water.
All of the women's group's goals and objectives were met, with the purchasing of sewing items and materials. The group especially enjoyed picking the various health topics together and focusing on the effects these topics had specifically on women. Some of their spouses even attended some of the meetings, to see what kinds of projects the group was considering.
It meant a lot to the group that they were included in the funding from the FROG grant. They were surprised that the money would be available to aide them in their sewing projects as most grants in the village revolve around manual labor from men. The group leader stated she was inspired by the opportunity and knew that the women had many talents and that now they would have no excuse but to put these talents into practice.