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Tailoring & Design

Youth Economic Empowerment
Ntcheu district, Malawi
Project inception

26 April 2024



Most youth in the district try to earn a living in the charcoal business, which entails indiscriminately felling trees, and is contributing to deforestation. They are hard-working but not financially independent because of illiteracy and insufficient capital to start a small business.

The Project

A first cohort of 30 youth (15 female,15 male) will be trained in tailoring and design over a period of 6 months. They will be taught to make all types of clothes – e.g. dresses, trousers, uniforms.


The trainers will be established tailors from Blantyre (70 miles away), employed for the purpose. At the same time the candidates will be trained in business management. 


On completion they will receive help in finding employment and, for those who manage to start their own business, in employing others. Hopefully a co-operative will be formed by the successful tailors to facilitate sales. Help with business capital will be offered.


During the programme the youth will be advised of the impacts of deforestation and the careless cutting down of trees.



The project will be run by SAPOF (Save the Poor Foundation), which started in 2014 and is registered with the NGO authority in Malawi. Day-to-day operations will be managed by Thembi Mvula, their Programmes Officer, under the oversight of their Director Alice Chiwaya, and with the support of Hendreson Gome, their Accountant.


The plan is that once the first cohort of students is trained, the most capable students will be retained to train and pass on their knowledge to the next cohort of students. This approach will avoid the need to pay ongoing training costs.   


SAPOF has prepared a detailed budget which includes:
•    five treadle sewing machines
•    a quantity of African print materials
•    some plain material for practice
•    flip charts both for teaching and for use in making patterns
•    many small, tailoring items
The total we need to raise for them is about £2,900.


The project has the capacity to start a process of:
•    increasing positive youth employment
•    growing and exhibiting youth skills
•    reducing environmental damage
•    supporting Malawi through the above and through the selling of local products

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