Polish Model Ditches the Catwalk to Teach Design and Sewing to Underprivileged Women


A Polish model has quit her job cat-walking to go to Kenya and teach underprivileged women sewing and design.

Maja Kotala decided to change her life in 2018, moving to Africa, to use her time to help others. As someone who’s lived in Australia and Paris, she says she found her place in Africa.

“Africa is beautiful, colorful, and open. I’ve never come across such a good attitude,” she said. “So I had the strength to fight for these talented girls.”

That’s when she created the Sewing Together project, providing free courses educating women on how to create a self-sustainable business, how to sew and start their own fashion line.

“I teach them how to create collections. I teach the basics of business, marketing, sales, bargaining skills, and how to behave towards a client,” Kotala said. “After six months they create and interpret drawings. At this time, I can create a workplace for them.”

She also gives opportunities to women to cut themselves from the stereotype of women staying home to look after children.

“One of my students comes from a Muslim family and she is not allowed to go to college,” she continued. “We had a single mother with a child who was kicked out by her family because she was pregnant before marriage and was banned for two years… We have girls who were forced by their parents to learn the so-called specific professions.”



Once the training is completed, educated women train new ones. Kotala’s project is funded through partnerships with other businesses as well as selling their own designs through the Charity Shop.

She says she doesn’t know how long she will stay in Africa, but Kotala “wants the girls to take over what I’m doing as soon as possible so that I can develop the idea of Sewing Together in another country.”

Watch below this short video of Sewing Together’s mission.



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