Hello Friends and Fans! We’ve been awfully quiet lately. We have had a lot of large decisions to make about the program and locations, safety of our program participants and spend the last few months really focusing on an onsite health crisis – Hepatitis B. As the world watches the current Ebola epidemic with wide eyes, our stomachs churn over the last two years in Uganda where Ebola has been a common name. We can only hope that Uganda is spared from this round.
We are very excited to announce our first gala being thrown by Starstruck PR and Bitchvice at Opulen Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The magic date will be Saturday, November 8th. Tickets will be available for sale shortly and we can promise a fantastical and magical evening. We want to raise awareness for fair trade clothing and how we can create change in the fashion industry and fight institutionalized slavery.
The main goal of the evening will be to raise funds for our main compound’s basic construction. The compound needs some serious updates. As a rural village house, we were lucky to score one of the best and most spacious parcels in Kapeeka. As a center for education and community, much is left to be desired. We only have one working electrical outlet, there are no ceilings (there is a roof – whew), we need to put up caging to keep bats away (bats carry Marsburg and Ebola), window screens to keep out mosquitos, rewire lighting, cement the outbuildings, and rework the kitchen to make a more sanitary place to cook and provide our ladies with a hot lunch.
The kitchen in itself is a story. It’s an empty cement room where we cook over an open fire brick pit or terra cota portable stoves. We use charcoal or wood, and the compound has no running water. Running water has just come to Kapeeka but in the mean time, we want to invest in biofilter’s from Teva that we can make into washing stands, put in counters, tile the kitchen, and create safe storage for foods. (Maybe even a mini fridge? Hey, dream big, right?)
As our waiting list grows, so do our needs. In order to keep servicing the women we work with and hopefully bring more women in, we truly need to attend to these challenges. During the rainy season, classes stop during the heavy rains as it becomes too dark inside to properly see and work on the treadle machines. With electricity, we can not only rewire new lighting, we can also create outlets that will allow us to bring in electrical machinery and offer new classes. We’re pretty limited on what we can produce with lightweight treadle machines…cotton totebags. We once put in some interfacing and a zipper…and broke three machines because it was too heavy!
All of the women we work with live in extreme poverty and have been connected with prostitution in some form. Life in the village is hard with little to no options, but with a third grade education, still better than moving to Kampala and being abused as a housemaid or worse…being back on the streets.
We are so thankful to Laurel of Starstruck PR and the team at Bitchvice for throwing this Gala.
If you are unable to make it, but still interested in donating, check out fundraising page:
We are already over 10% to our goal of $5000! We can’t thank you all enough for your constant support on this journey.
If you’re on Twitter, follow us: @comthrdcoll and join up with the gala: @thebigtopgala
Do you shop on Amazon? You can also shop via smile.amazon.com, elect The Common Thread Collective as your charity of choice, and a portion of each purchase will be donated back to us. How cool is that? It’s amazing. Go do it.
We will be posting much more this week so keep your eyes peeled for funny stories, pictures, and just general love from our home to yours.