Sunday, March 14, 2010

Kiva: meet Shirley Macedo Garcia

Meet Shirely Macedo Garcia, who will receive my sixteenth Kiva loan.

Located in San Martín, Peru, she is an upholsterer and will use this loan to buy rolls of fabric, and different colors of thread to make the upholstery.

Ms. Shirley belongs to the Communal Bank “Las Decididas II” in the Tarapoto District, San Martín Region and the San Martín Department. She is married and she is 57 years old. She is the mother of 2 children, 1 child is still studying and is attending university.

With the first loan of de S/. 300.00 Nuevos Soles, based on a friend’s idea, she now works on upholstery in her home with the help of her sewing machine. She works with her husband.

Currently they work in the same business and the clients’ requests come to the home daily. With this loan of S/2,000.00 Nuevos Soles, she will expand her business by buying rolls of fabric, thread for sewing the upholstery for the furniture, a moto-taxi and motorized vehicles. She is proud of her work.

She feels like an accomplished woman therefore she is grateful for the opportunity offered by the Manuela Ramos Movement, so she can develop as a woman and businesswoman.

There's a Kiva button over on the right of this blog.  Kiva is microfinance - you usually get your loan back, and then you can reloan it.  The recipients are the working poor, entrepreneurs; it's hugely rewarding to know a little from here can mean so much there.

I've been undertaking Kiva loans for over two years, and it's a great charitable enterprise.  The borrowers' stories are a fascinating window on other parts of the world and other lives.  I often, but not always, choose people engaged with textiles in some way, reflecting my own interests.  As it happens, I've just had some chairs reupholstered, so this loan seemed apt.

Minimum loan is $25US, so not a large amount.  Worth doing. Click here to see people needing loans.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I know we had February...

I know we had February.  Always the hardest month to endure, weatherwise - the heat of summer and the humidity.  Slogging and sweating through the start of the school year and thinking, longingly, of March, and autumn.

It's March, and the weather seems to know.  Humidity not a problem, the days a little cooler, and overnight too, so you can sleep.

I went back to work after Australia Day and it's been so very busy.  Which is the cliche, but also the truth.  Productive at work and not much happening on the home front.

It's hard for ME to believe, but I haven't sewn anything for nearly two months.  Nothing, not a quilt, not even a button or a hem.  I haven't gone that long without sewing for years and years.  Maybe that gives you an idea of how all-consuming work has been.  Perhaps what I'll do for Easter is schedule a quilt project I'd like to play with, clear the decks and give it air and time and see what happens.  No deadlines, no commissions or anything, just let it happen and go from there.

Mind you, my hardworking Bernina sewing machine is probably very happy to be getting a service.  And I've been invited to give a 'quilt talk' to a patchworking group later this month.

There's a bit of public speaking going on in the next while, on the work front - three presenter gigs coming up.  I did a couple towards the end of last year, and not only did I enjoy them, so did the audiences (and they found them useful).  They're fun, and a good way for me to reflect on my own working practices and challenges as well as share ideas with others.

I've kept reading blogs (yay for bloglines), and found a couple of new ones to read too.

Must do some autumnal clearing up and replanting in the (rather neglected) garden.  There are tight green buds on the pink camellia...