The LifeStitches Uganda Project is a program begun by an American, Dr. Katie Gnauck from New Mexico to help HIV positive women and AIDS orphans in Uganda. The women are taught sewing skills from which they earn money and respect and are able to help support their families.
In the past year with the help of a Peace Corp implementation grant the women learned how to follow patterns and produce school uniforms for children in the Maracha area.
Frontier Soups has been supporting this program by offering beautiful LifeStitches batik napkins for sale on the website.
Recently an anthropologist professor, Nicole Kellett, at the University of Maine/Farmington, formerly of the University of New Mexico where she became involved with Dr. Gnauck’s efforts, was sent to Uganda to evaluate the impact of the LifeStitches program on Ugandan culture.
Here’s a bit of her commentary after spending 3 weeks there.
“It is also so interesting to learn about how LifeStitches has grown and to see all of the different projects. It really is impressive what Katie has started and how she has expanded the work.”
“We have visited three different workshops including where they make uniforms for AIDS orphans. There is also so much more on the horizon for the organization, with bike repair programs and other such things. “
“You really can see what a difference this program makes in these women’s lives. Yesterday the woman I spoke with talked about before she was at home feeling stigmatized and was afraid to join the workshop, but her sister encouraged her to do so and now she can come and talk freely with the women about her troubles at home and feels more at home in the workshop than in her village.”
For more information, visit the LifeStitches Uganda Project website.