top of page

Youth-Run Self Help Group To Be Latest Addition To Miami-Based Sewing Initiative

3 women standing together smiling for a photograph
Lexy Sanguinetti with Angie Cohen (center) and Paula Villamizar (right), the two founders of nonprofit DesignLab Give, Miami.

At Sanguinetti & Company, we have started off the year with excitement and an abundant hope for a sustainable future, not only for ourselves as a family-run company, but for our international collaborators who are embarking on major milestones in their humanitarian work in Africa.

One collaboration that continues to grow and bring new partners together is one we initiated in mid 2019 with Design Lab Give of Miami, Florida (DLG) and others. Our company introduced DLG to Kenya when a shared desire to support the girl child and women of Africa was discussed and acted on. Less than 2 years later, DLG is providing creative and sustainable sewing training and supplies to women groups in Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before the end of 2020, DLG expressed a desire to expand its reach in Africa. Sanguinetti & Company quickly proposed an exciting and worthy addition to the organization's beneficiary list.

Soweto Youth Initiative (SYI), is a youth-run nonprofit organization based in Soweto, Kahawa West, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, home to approximately 10,000 residents. The organization operates 7 youth programs including 'Nishike Mkono' (Swahili for "hold my hand") which targets young adults and offers hairdressing, sewing and computer courses. Successful graduates of the sewing program are rewarded with a sewing machine to start their own business in the community. However, with the pandemic affecting services and a strain on program finances, SYI has struggled to keep this and other initiatives running.

Leaders of Soweto Youth Initiative gather around the only working sewing machine they have at the youth center.

Following our recommendation, DLG did not hesitate to invite SYI to participate in their virtual training programs, currently being filmed in Miami and delivered digitally and globally to chosen beneficiaries. In addition, DLG has pledged to provide sewing machines and other essential resources to enable SYI to receive and administer the online training at their youth center based in the slum. Sanguinetti & Company officials visited SYI and met with board members to discuss the upcoming collaboration and assess the needs of the existing sewing program. By the end of January 2021, we anticipate SYI will be set up with Wi-Fi, a television and sewing machines to get started.

If you would like to support this worthy international collaboration, please get in touch! We will connect you to the appropriate parties to either make a donation or lend your skills as you choose:


bottom of page