Ankaase Bags

My friend from college is an adoption advocate and now works with a group who support school kids in a village called Ankaase in Ghana. Her name is Lisa Tresch, and she and her daughter went to Ghana last year to meet a boy there that her church group had been sponsoring. When she went those kids permeated into her bones it seems and she's been a full time volunteer for the sponsoring organization ever since. 
She knew I made patterns, so when she got the idea to develop a product that the local group of Ankaase seamstresses could make to help support their business and to raise funds for the school and sponsorships for the kids, she asked if I could help. She wanted something that they could make that would be marketable here. We came up with a pattern with lots of pockets that can be made out of about 1 yard of their beautiful fabric. 
I made up a sample & the instructions and sent them to her in Tulsa. 

Lisa went back to Ghana this week and she's been blogging about the trip all week. Check out what they are doing here

She bought fabric there. Enough for a big bunch of bags. 

And delivered it all to the ladies who are now making the them. 
I can't wait to see more photos of the trip and how the they all turn out. 

It's so crazy to see a pattern that left my hands a couple of weeks ago already translated into something so tangible. What a motivator to DO something. I have a tendency to explore ideas to death. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this project. I'll post more when I have information on where to purchase these bags. 
I find this sort of work so deeply satisfying. Thanks Lisa!
How do you give the gift of sewing back?  I love to hear stories of how women help others and themselves with sewing. I'm starting to collect these stories and organizations into a new blog. A starting point for someone who might want to help but doesn't know where to start. What are your favorite sewing related organizations that give back to the world?  The Sewing Machine Project? Project Linus? Quilts of Valor? Let me know, send me your story of something you made that helped you as much as it helped someone else. I can't wait to hear from you!


nahidworld said…
very nice garment bag .it looks very nice.
Anonymous said…
I approached our local Parks Department about teaching a beginning sewing class. They have many programs here in Paducah for children during the summer. It's great for working moms.
I solicited/begged/and hinted to my friends and managed to scrape together 9 machines. What I didn't realize was it was all on me to get the lessons, patterns etc. I have never taught children other than my grandchildren. I went to the local extension office and was offered many lesson plans, a two page informational about the machines and all the basic parts.
I was set to start and I ran into a friend who had just retired as a 3rd grade teacher. She was very excited
and became a closer friend and the best volunteer anyone could ask for. After 3 - eight week classes it was clear to my friend and I that we needed more volunteers or fewer children in the class. After a very frustrating class where we basically had to say last rites over two machines, I decided to do something different. The 4-H at the extension office offered their space, machines (all the same and in good working order) if we wanted to have the classes there. Off we went to pack up, throw out or redistribute all the materials we had accumulated from the room. We, along with a 4-H leader and another volunteer will be
meeting with our planning leader this month and will begin a new year. The girls last year have said they would like to volunteer with the new girls. We’ll see. It would be nice to think of them as little teachers as
they go through life.

Pam Heavrin
steff said…
What a sweet story! I love hearing this. I think you'd like knowing about The Sewing Machine Project. They provide used machines to groups like yours all the time, just contact them
They are a great organization to either donate to or query for machines when needed.

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