Filling a container is a special moment for all the volunteers, not only because of the hard work involved. It’s during these days that you get to see the work of a whole year. All the different activities carried on by the volunteers from building the boxes to refurbishing the sewing machines come together in a 20 foot container.
On October the 24th 2013, TFS sent its 8th container to the Mwanza Sewing and Training Centre in Tanzania. This was the latest of nine containers – one went to Uganda – to be sent out to our partners.
The container left Belfast with 370 sewing machines, including knitting machines and a leather working machine.
Unlike the previous ones this shipment has been decided and planned in a very short time. At the beginning of July TFS has been hit by the news that a fire burn down the MSTC workshop in Tanzania. Most of the stock of sewing machines and all the workshop equipment were lost in one night. After the shock TFS decided to supply MSTC with another container of sewing machines and equipment to fit out the workshop that in the meanwhile has been rebuilt. This will enable the centre to continue to provide sewing machines and deliver the training that has already been scheduled.
In four month the volunteers working in TFS workshops in Belfast, Downpatrick and Camphill Community in Mourne Grange prepared and organised the items needed for the shipment.
The container was filled in Belfast during four days of hard work under pouring rain. It is expected to arrive in Mwanza by the end of December.
Once again none of this would have been possible without the work of all the volunteers who put all their energy and effort in getting everything ready on time.
MSTC has been operating for 6 years with the support of TFS. Acknowledging the value of MSTC work in supporting tailors and artisans in the lake districts of Tanzania, TFS is now looking to renovate the partnership with the centre.
With MSTC and another project hopefully starting next year where will container n° 10 be sent to?