Michael Stephenson 23rd September 2011 Blog International Development & Affairs Share Tweet General Secretary Michael Stephenson announces our new campaign to support a women’s co-operative in South Africa – Sewn Up. During my trip to South Africa last summer, I visited a number of co-operatives in Ivory Park, a township near Johannesburg. The one that really inspired me was the Kopano Women’s Sewing Co-operative. Like the other co-operatives in the area, the women at Kopano Co-operative are making a positive impact in their communities and accomplishing their goals through a co-operative framework. Without many resources, the women have come together to better their community. They work very hard to acquire materials for everything from school uniforms to blankets and duvets, and they make them available to members of the local community. Clothing is a necessity in any community, particularly a disadvantaged one. The women of the co-operative are working hard with what they’ve got, but what they’ve got needs replacing. Because their machinery is more than 30 years old, it frequently breaks down and it just doesn’t work as efficiently was modern equipment. With just a simple injection of modern equipment, we can make a significant improvement on these women’s lives and they can much more productive than they already are as a whole. In order to combat these issues, we’ve set up this appeal because with the support and donations of Co-operative Party members and the support of our movement we can transform the lives of these women and improve the quality of life in this township while we keep faith with our co-operative values. We are asking people to donate money, so we can replace sewing machines and transform the lives of these women. The Sewn Up campaign: Sewing up a solution. To find out how you can support our campaign for the women of Kopano Sewing Co-operative, read on… You can read a full interview with Michael on his visit to Kopano here.