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Rita – Then & Now

By February 21, 2018Newsletter Spring 2018

Last October, Mary Dailey Brown, President of SowHope, visited several projects in Nigeria.  Our partner there is conducting projects in three states of Nigeria, and Boko Haram, the notorious terrorist group, is active in all three. This group was responsible for the well-known kidnapping of 276 school girls.  Boko Haram has caused the torture and killing of tens of thousands of people, displacing 2.3 million people trying to flee their wrath.

While visiting SowHope-funded projects, Mary met with village people who had been recently under attack by Boko Haram. These people are understandably severely traumatized by the horrific actions that they have witnessed and survived. Your donations are making a difference in their lives. The projects funded by SowHope help women learn money-making vocations, start small businesses, and do extensive farming.  Over 500 female farmers are benefiting from the agricultural projects led by our partner, Sarah. The projects you are funding serve to bring hope and healing to the people of North East Nigeria.

Sarah began by teaching her neighbors basic skills like sewing, knitting, bread making. She even taught basic literacy and word processing on a computer run by a generator. On Mary’s first visit to Nigeria in 2007, she met Rita on Sarah’s front porch where she was beginning to learn how to sew and run a business.  Rita has been able to make a living for herself by sewing, but she has done so much more than that!

Rita now has a small store where she sells beautifully made dresses.  She also wanted to help others learn how to sew, so they could make a living. She has started a sewing school in her store and 12 young adults spend entire days with her as she teaches them how to sew and run a business.  Additionally, she teaches them how to live and all of the students say she is the most amazing person they know. She truly inspires them and gives them hope. Rita submitted a grant application to SowHope to fund three more machines so she can teach additional women at her sewing school. SowHope was able to award the grant because you are making it possible for women like Rita to be so successful!