Special Ministries

Threads of Hope

Claiming God’s Plan for a Future and a Hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

Threads of Hope is a vocational training center for vulnerable women who live in extreme poverty in the greater Bomet area. It was founded under the direction of Tenwek Community Health and Development in 2017.  Volunteer Suzie Vaughan, who has traveled to Tenwek to serve for past 11  years with her husband, Read Vaughan, M.D., was instrumental in creating and developing the program.

During an eight-month tailoring apprenticeship, six students gain vocational training and life skills, develop business acumen, and receive mentorship in Christian faith. They are taught to produce school uniforms for orphans, sanitary pads for use in prisons and schools, purses, aprons and other items for sale to visitors.

Throughout their training, the women work towards “earning” their own treadle sewing machine. When proficiency is demonstrated, they are gifted with a machine at their graduation. FOT provides the funds for these machines (which cost $160, a sum that would be far beyond the reach of these women). This enables each graduate to return to her village and begin her own business.

As of the beginning of 2020, Threads of Hope has graduated 3 classes, totaling 17 students. However, the impact of this program goes far beyond the students, as they (and their 2 teachers) collectively provide for 42 children. The reports coming back from previous graduates are positive in that ALL are using their machines and skills in some capacity.

Their work includes starting a small sewing shop, making clothing repairs at a local boarding schools for boys, sewing bags for tea factories, and making school uniforms for the children of neighbors. Upon reuniting with Suzie a year after her graduation, one of the students gave her a warm embrace and said, “Thank you for changing my life!  Not a day goes by that I cannot find a way to make some money for my family using my machine.”  The modest investment of a few hundred dollars per student pays huge rewards to her family for decades to come. Restoring dignity and hope to these vulnerable women is priceless gift.

The Threads of Hope center is located a five-minute walk from Tenwek Hospital and visitors are welcome to stop by Monday through Friday. Visitors are invited to help by bringing snacks, organizing cupboards, cutting out project materials, joining in morning devotions, etc. If you have spare room in your luggage when traveling to Tenwek, please contact Suzie to see if fabric or supplies could use a ride across the ocean!

The video posted below captures the joy of a recent graduation ceremony for Threads of Hope students.