Sheringham Christians sew and cycle for Uganda
An army of people held a Sew-athon at a Sheringham church back in February to help a Ugandan community, and a team from that church is now planning to cycle 256 miles to help the same charity. Tony Rothe reports.
The Reed People charity, based at Lighthouse Community Church in Sheringham, has been working with the village of Lumpewe in Uganda to re-build and equip their primary school, and to support the ongoing work and eventual expansion of the school.
The 12 hour “Sewathon” event held at Lighthouse on February 24 had 240 participants with a variety of skills and abundant enthusiasm. 140 pillowcase dresses were made, 30 skirts, 53 headbands, 3 fabric bags, 430 sanitary pads were cut out ready to be sewn together, and 59 triangles of bunting were decorated by the children.
Organiser Jo Mutton said “Once again people turned up at the event offering their time and were happy to pitch in with whatever needed to be done - cutting, sewing, ironing as well as the invaluable role of tea/coffee making, washing up and general tidying up. The men prepared and cooked around 100 hot lunches, and numerous people generously supplied delicious cakes and biscuits to sustain the team throughout the day. We were overwhelmed with the unity that this generated.”
Ten days later, four men from the charity, Ian Mutton, Mark Welch, his dad Keith and Matthew Wells travelled to Uganda with dresses, headbands and the sanitary pads which they distributed, as well as progressing the building work. Their purpose was to put wiring in place in the classrooms to provide lighting and power and also to construct a safe access/veranda to all five classrooms.
Following a similar visit last year one of the male leaders of the community in Lumpewe said: “The biggest talk of the village from both women and men is the gift of sanitary towels and panties. Due to the dire poverty, very few could afford to buy monthly pads for self and daughters or a new pant, and it was a challenge of many and a cause of school absenteeism for school going girls. That challenge is no more and less school absenteeism of girls of that age has been reported in our school and even other schools around.”
To find out more about Reed People and the project in Lumpewe, visit : http://reedpeople.org
Back in Britain, funds are being raised by a 256-mile sponsored bike ride starting on Thursday April 12 from Prestatyn in North Wales, and hoping to arrive in Sheringham in North Norfolk at around 10.30am on Sunday April 15. They are intending to average 75 miles a day, with the final 30-odd miles on the Sunday morning.
Those taking part are Ingrid and Martin Fleetcroft, Derek Baldry, Ian Mutton, Matthew Mutton (a year 10 student at Sheringham High), and Sarah Atkinson. If anyone would like to sponsor them please visit : http://reedpeople.org/donate/
All money raised will go towards the development of educational facilities in Lumpewe.
The next Sewathon will take place at Lighthouse on Saturday November 17 when as well as continuing with the pads and pillowcase dresses/headbands, they hope to make boys shorts out of no longer wanted t-shirts, as well as washbags.
To read our previous story about the Reed People Sewathon, click here.
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