Naisosion Sewing Project
Naisosion is an organization founded in 1997 by Gloria Sandilen to provide abused and abandoned women in Arusha, Tanzania a way to earn a living and support themselves.The project gives women a source of income, livelihood and pride. It also helps to make sure that the women have money to support their needs, and send their children to school. Funds are raised to purchase sewing machines and land to expand the project’s facilities.
In 2004 the Harambee Centre began collaborating with the Naisosion (pronounced Nigh-so-seeian) Sewing Project through Washington resident Karen Smith, who served on the organization’s board of directors for five years. Karen has been passionate about Africa since childhood, and she first traveled to Tanzania in 1997 as part of a group tour. There she met Simon and Gloria Sandilen, a Maasai couple from Arusha who had started a small sewing cooperative with the help of their local church. Members had noticed that many young women in the area were on the edge of extreme poverty, living in abusive relationships or had been abandoned by their partners. The women decided to help them learn to sew, and started the Naisosion Project in a space that Gloria provided in her own home. With a small investment of just a few thousand dollars, the project trained 35 women in the first few years: at the end of training twenty of these graduates received their own sewing machines, and two of the graduates continued on as trainers for subsequent groups of women.
In the summer of 2013, the Naisosion Sewing Project will be housed under the umbrella of the Rural Community Network (RUCONET), a registered charity founded in 2008 that works with indigenous groups in Tanzania to improve local community and household welfare. RUCONET manages several projects targeting women, including classes on how to make and sell crafts like beads and textiles.
Completed in 2012, the Naisosion training facility will continue to be used to offer sewing and business skills to undereducated young women and girls.
Featured students and visitors from a 2008 Trip To Tanzania
After collaborating for many years, Harambee Centre has brought its partnership with Naisosion to a successful conclusion.
Through the support of Harambee Centre, Naisosion, which teaches sewing skills, has provided more than 100 young women with a means to support themselves and their families. Sewing machines have been purchased, and a full time instructor has beenhired. Many women who have completed the courses have gone on to share their skills with others, thus widening Naisosion’s reach.
The organization is now self sufficient and thriving under the guidance of the Rural Community Network (RUCONET).