For a couple years now, Determined to Develop (D2D) has supported four different IGA (Income Generating Activity) groups in the surrounding Chilumba area. One of the IGA groups, the “Temwa Mother Group” has now been operating for three years. Within the group, eleven local women, all with families of their own, come together twice a week in nearby Hangalawe to further advance their sewing skills, design new products to sell in markets, and fill any orders previously taken. The women sew everything from dresses, to trousers, collared shirts, purses, handbags, laptop cases, small wallets, wall decorations, large banners, and so on depending on the requests they receive from customers or other local buyers.
Recently, the women of the group were given a chance to share their story with a family visiting from the U.K., acknowledging how each year has brought strides of enhancement and great growth. At the start of the group, many of the members were very inexperienced and unable to sew efficiently enough to produce quality-made products. One member, Roselyn Munthali, a professionally trained tailor, has spent an extended period of time training the other women in the group. The other members credit her with much of their success, for without her training, each one would not have progressed to the strength of where their sewing skills currently are today. Each woman of the Temwa Mother Group is now capable of sewing any product which they sell on their own, allowing for equal contribution and asset sharing. In the group’s first year of operation, the women had two manual sewing machines to use in order to work on advancing their abilities and producing products for market distribution.
The secretary of the group, Gertrude Mhango, expressed the deep gratitude the group has for Determined to Develop, addressing the way contributions and efforts made by D2D have brought prominent changes to each one of their personal circumstances. She recognized the fact that D2D has taught the women different marketing skills, enabling them to sell their products in markets throughout the city of Mzuzu, offering more competitive prices in comparison with local ones. She also noted how astounding it has been for the group since D2D provided the women with two additional electronic sewing machines, bringing their total up to four and readily increasing the groups production rate as a result. “Because of D2D, we have all been able to provide more for our families, including food and improving our day to day living situations within our homes,” Gertrude personally stated. It is extremely encouraging for both D2D staff and its beneficiaries to witness the development that being a part of the Temwa Mother Group has produced for each member. The organization looks forward to witnessing the continuance of such development as the operating years of the Temwa Mother Group continues to lengthen.