"Sew What" School of Sewing Arts


Vision: is for a sewing school to benefit the graduating students of St. Andrews Tarabete located in the slum of Kasarani.  A very high percentage of these graduating students will not attend university and will graduate lacking a skill or trade. The intended purpose of the Kasarani School of Sewing Arts is to teach and train these graduating students with the very marketable and honorable trade of tailoring/sewing equipping them with a means by which to support themselves and their families of the future.

Location: Located in the slum of Kasarani Kenya, on Lake Navaisha in Kenya Africa . . . part of the Rift Valley.  

Who are the Players: The group working to make the Kasarani School of Sewing Arts a reality is

  • Funding: Funding for the Kasarani School of Sewing Arts is from donations and  gifts received through      Crossing Boundaries; a 501C3 relief organization based in Colleyville, Texas.


  • Main Players:  Deb Snell; an American Missionary (in Kenya since 1982) is the Alumni Director of this government school; St. Andrews Tarabete.


  • Peter Ngugi;  Headmaster/Principal of St. Andrews Tarabete School.


  • Velda Rickstrew and Kris Larkin: have been involved in mission work in Kenya since 2006.  Beginning their involvement with sewing curriculums in Kitale, Kenya in 2010.  Missionary partners through these times have been Saddleback Church, Orange County, California and Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas.


Funds Needed:

Start up costs for the school to be under $4,000 (US) which includes securing a building in Kasarani and outfitting it with tables, sewing machines fabric and supplies as well as storage as well as securing an instructor.

Operating Costs will average $470 (US) Per month and initially will be covered through enrollment fees, tax-deductible donations and gifts.  After the first year, it is anticipated that the school will be self-sustaining covering operating expenses through again; enrollment fees, the manufacture of school uniforms.  Other anticipated revenues include retail sales of products in the US and other markets.

Organizational Structure –
Deb Snell, with her long history in the Kenyan culture and fundraising will be the person who will oversee the funds and vision management of this program.  Deb will also interface with the local tribes, government entities as well as local churches to ensure that the school is well received and supported locally.  Through continual coordination with the instructor she will also implement the curriculum with the students as well as marketing to the surrounding industries.

Kris Larkin and Velda Rickstrew will primarily be charged with all fundraising activities including retaining professional fundraisers as well as organizing fund raising events.

Crossing Boundaries is the funding vehicle for the school continually ensuring that all gifts and donations are taken in and responsibly spent.  For more information about Crossing Boundaries Click Here

Where are we now?
EXCITED . . . . THAT'S WHERE!!


  • The school opened on June 5, 2017!!
  • Our first class is 9 young women and 1 brave young man!
  • We have started a second class by request: an evening and Saturday class for local community workers to accommodate their working schedules.
  • Our Building has been completed with all the painting done and furnishings built and installed.
  • We have purchased 5 sewing machines to date: 1 Commercial Treadle Machine, 1 Electric Machine and 3 Standard Treadle Machines
  • We continue to search for additional sewing machines . . . we would like to have 5 more so that every student will have their own.
  • We have secured our first contract for providing school uniforms for a local school!
  • Sewing classes will continue through June & July before having a break in August.
  • We will be offering two separate English classes and Guitar lessons in our building during August for the local community.


Look at what our Fundi/Sewing Instructor said about our students:


"Many of the students are already using the machines . . . some are quite clever!"

We are currently working to strengthen our donor base to help continue to support this new ministry.

We are excited at the possibility of providing this much –needed ministry to the youth of Kenya.

We truly need your help and we would be honored to have you involved on the ground floor of this ministry. 



Please note: Photos are from "Needle Werks" Sewing School at Oasis of Hope School, Kitale, Kenya, Africa.