Step 3: Buying New Equipment
Shopping for new sewing machines should be easy, right?
Well. It can be, but not always. Especially when shopping in a developing country like Uganda.
Last year, when five new seamstresses joined the Mend family we sourced their brand new genuine (Juki brand) sewing machines in Kampala…or so we thought!
When the machines reached the Mend center in Gulu - a strenuous five-hour journey from Kampala - we were a little surprised when three of the machines arrived in unmarked boxes. Still, as we took the machines out of the boxes we saw the trusty Juki logo, but Richard, our tailoring supervisor immediately identified that the logo, as well as actual motor and parts, were counterfeits.
This year, as we sourced six more Juki machines for the new seamstresses, we were much more cautious. So Richard traveled to Kampala to inspect the machines and low and behold, more counterfeits. Luckily, he was able to source a new provider that promised to supply genuine machines within one week. A week later Richard was back in Kampala and to our surprise he confirmed that the six brand new Juki sewing machines were genuine. What a relief.
In Uganda, counterfeits are common and we’ve found our fair share of them, but we’re committed to doing what it takes to make sure the seamstresses have the equipment they need because we know how much a sewing machine can change their life.
Thanks to you, we have six new sewing machines for the six new seamstresses. What an accomplishment.