Our workshop partnership employs seamstresses, tailors, and apprentices and supports skills training and business creation for cloth-makers, knitters, and community members in Greater Accra, Ghana.
Seamstresses & Tailors:
Our workshop partnership employs seamstresses and tailors to sew sustainable tie-dye products. This program targets women with disabilities, who make up at least half of the cohort, but also includes other vulnerable women and men for an inclusive workforce. Seamstresses earn a starting salary of 600 GHC (150 USD) per month and are eligible for a raise every six months. Most of the workers hope to open their own independent sewing shops after a few years at the workshop and are saving toward this goal. As full-time workers, they earn benefits including social security, housing relocation support, and preventative health services.
The workshop's cloth-making program provides six-month of paid cloth-making training and a business start-up grant to participants. The program targets mothers, parents, or caretakers of children with developmental disabilities. Participants earn a living stipend of 450 GHS (115 USD) per month for the duration of their training, and at the end of the program, they receive a two-part business start-up grant worth approximately 1500 GHS (350 USD) to open their own cloth-making business or other independent shop to support their child's needs.
The workshop's apprentice program trains unskilled workers in sewing and fashion design over a period of two or three years. The program targets women with disabilities and adults with developmental disabilities who seek to learn an occupational trade. Participants earn a living stipend of 450 GHS (115 USD) per month for the duration of their apprenticeship. By comparison, most apprentices in Ghana are required to pay for training. Apprentices with developmental disabilities are paired one-to-one with other experienced apprentices, who provide individualized learning and tutoring support as part of their conditions for receiving these stipends. As full-time workers, they earn benefits including social security, housing relocation support, and preventative health services.
The workshop's knitting program provides training and a flexible income generating method for individuals who work-from-home or part-time. The program targets persons with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs or experience mobility restrictions and parents or caretakers of children with developmental disabilities who need scholarships. Knitters receive looms and weekly deliveries of yarn produced from secondhand cotton t-shirt scraps at the workshop and earn 20 GHS (5 USD) per hat, pair of mittens, or other product they create. Knitters are also supported in adapting their products for local markets to diversify and increase their income.
The workshop manager is an existing female business owner who agrees to manage an inclusive workforce of persons with disabilities, parents or caretakers of children with developmental disabilities, and other people. In exchange, she receives financial support from MFC Tie-Dye Inc. in expanding the workshop and a monthly grant for use of space, which ranges from 700 to 1400 GHS (175 to 350 USD). The manager maintains ownership over the expanded workshop, which continues to provide services to the community. Our first and current workshop manager is Matilda Lartey, the owner of Matilda Flow Enterprises, which provides tailoring services and sells peanut cake, and soap to the local market in addition to hosting Matilda Flow Inclusion Foundation programs.
Every month, the workshop hosts a free on or off-site community program to train participants in basic tie-dye and soap-making techniques so that they can produce and sell their own handiwork to meet their needs. The program targets women with disabilities, mothers or caretakers of children with disabilities, and unemployed women but is open to all community members. The training is an all-day event and includes lectures and practical demonstrations. The programs are led by the workers and manager and seek to engage the community in awareness about the workshop's social mission of including persons with disabilities and encouraging women's leadership.