Members of the public are being urged to donate unwanted sewing machines so they can be sent to Sri Lanka and used to help people support their families.
An appeal has been launched by The Rotary Club of Stamford, which has close ties with the country, and members have already obtained 18 sewing machines.
They will eventually be shipped to the Rotary Club of Kandy, in central Sri Lanka, and given to families to use to set up sewing and tailoring businesses.
The appeal follows a highly successful campaign to collect books for children in Sri Lanka following a devastating tsunami which struck the country in 2004 – killing around 30,000 people in the country and destroying many schools.
David Tilson, spokesman for The Rotary Club of Stamford, said: “We have been collecting books for Sri Lanka for many years and have so far shipped around 29.5 tonnes worth, with another 6.5 tonnes in storage awaiting dispatch. In recent months the Rotary Club of Stamford St Martins has assisted in this project.
“Recently the Rotary Club of Kandy asked if we were able to source old sewing machines as they can be used to support a family.
“Permission has been obtained to import them into Sri Lanka and so far The Rotary Club of Stamford has obtained 18 machines, mainly from within club resources, but is thought that there could be other unwanted machines – taking up valuable attic, garage or spare room space – which could be put to good use in Sri Lanka.”
Sri Lanka, which has a population of just over 20 million people, has taken great strides to reduce poverty in recent years – but pockets of severe poverty remain, particularly in rural areas.
If you have a sewing machine in reasonable working order, which you wish to donate, call Tony Wakefield on 01780 757 307 to arrange collection.