Sewaid International

SEWAID INTERNATIONAL: Worldwide: RAWCS Project #  22-2006-07

Project name:                                   SEWAID International                     Micro Loan Sewing Project

RAWCS Project No.                         22-2006-07                                       Rotary E Club of Greater Sydney

Project Manager                              PDG Tony Castley                  

Deputy Project Manager n/a             n/a




Project Commenced                       2006                                                   First Project in Vanuatu in 2006

Place/Country                                  Worldwide                                        As at April 2015 – Projects

completed in X countries



What is SewAID?

SewAID is a program which offers selected women in very poor countries the opportunity to not only learn to sew, but to also provide them with the machines, equipment and skills they need to start a small home business in dressmaking, alterations and repairs.

The Purpose

The SewAID program is primarily a teaching program and we rely heavily on our wonderful volunteer teachers who donate their time and expertise as well as fund their own travel to each program, dedicated to providing the skills, knowledge and equipment so these poor women so they can make a better life for themselves and their family.

Our Partners

SewAID is supported strongly by Hobbysew Australia, a chain of sewing and quilting stores in NSW. On the ground in Developing  Countries we work mainly with local Rotary Clubs and approved NGO’s .

The Programs:

1.Micro Loans:

20 -30 women are selected by a local Rotary club or an NGO based on both need and desire to learn a skill. Sewing machines, fabric & equipment are shipped to site then a team of Australian sewing teachers travel to the project. They spend 10 -14 days training. The objective is that the students will run their own “home businesses”. They are given sewing machines and a starter kit of fabric and accessories; they are asked to pay approximately 30% of the real machine and kit cost - over 2 years, interest free.  Our history is that most micro loans have been repaid in full. After the program Sewaid keeps in touch with the students and sometimes revisits them for some further training 2 or 3 years later.

2.Community Sewing Workshops.

Similar to the Micro loans program, but we establish a permanent workshop and train a manager to run it.  The workshop is often fitted out with overlockers and some industrial machines so the women can come into the workshop to finish some of the garments to a higher quality, or in some cases work in the sewing workshop on a daily basis.

Past Programs:

We have had Micro loans programs in Vanuatu (3 programs) and PNG. We have established permanent workshops in Mindanao Philippines, Katuuso Uganda and Banda Acheh Indonesia. Additionally we have supplied sewing machines or had smaller programs in Tanzania, Mongolia, Cambodia, Fiji and with indigenous groups in Australia.

Future Programs:

We will establish a new workshop in Lautoka Fiji in August 2015, and then we are planning future programs in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania in 2016 . Please see our website for details.


Our SewAID programs are partly funded by Hobbsew Australia and much of the cost of each program is supported by our volunteer teachers. However we are always pleased to receive donations which help us to buy additional equipment for the workshops. Donations are tax deductible through the RAWCS National Website – project #22-2006-07 .

Tony Castley

Past Governor District 9680 2008-09

Past President and Founder of the Rotary E-club of Greater Sydney

SewaAID Founder and Director