Hagåtña, Guam – Island Girl Power (IGP) is one step closer to its dream of launching a project that will provide sewing workshops and sustainability for women and girls in the community. On May 2, the non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of girls received eight sewing machines shipped all the way from Wisconsin, thanks to the generosity of The Sewing Machine Project, Triple B Forwarders, and Matson, Inc.

“We are extremely grateful for the all-around help we have received in order to help us get this project off the ground, from the Bureau of Women’s Affairs launching and coordinating the effort, to the Sewing Machine Project’s generosity, to Triple B and Matson helping us get the machines here from the mainland. It truly was a nationwide effort,” said Juanita Blaz, Island Girl Power Director.

The donation came about back in February when Blaz collaborated with Jayne Flores, newly appointed Bureau of Women’s Affairs Director, about Project Sottera, the BWA effort to get menstrual pads to girls so that they can stay in school. Blaz explained to Flores that she was trying to organize a sewing project at Island Girl Power so girls and women could make reusable pads, and make and sell other items to earn money and become more sustainable.

Flores contacted Margaret Jankowski, founder/director of the non-profit The Sewing Machine Project (SMP), in Madison, Wisconsin. The SMP offers sewing machines, tools, and education to groups “committed to using the machines to provide opportunities to create, learn new skills, build self confidence, and contribute to their own livelihoods and the well being of their families and communities,” according to its website, thesewingmachineproject.org.

“Margaret emailed me and told me she could help Island Girl Power with this effort,” said Flores. “And thanks to Triple B and Matson, we were able to get the machines

Blaz says she is now preparing a place in Island Girl Power’s Dededo clubhouse compound to be able to set up sewing workshops.

“We still need monetary donations for the program and for facility upgrades, so anyone wishing to donate to our 501c3 organization, please, we really need the help,” Blaz said.

To donate to Island Girl Power for this empowering project, email islandgirlpower671@gmail.com, or jayne.flores@guam.gov.



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