Wake up and turn on the news. What do you see? Hard things, discouraging comments, and maybe some inexcusable violence. Right now, we are vowing to add a little sunshine to your day by letting you know about a great cause dedicated to use the craft of sewing to brighten other people’s lives. Take this time to read about what Little Dresses for Africa is doing and the driving force behind their mission.
Around the world girls are demonstrated to be devalued in many cultures for a variety of different reasons. This leads to abuse, neglect, and oppression. That is where Little Dresses for Africasteps in, their mission is “to provide relief to vulnerable children throughout the continent of Africa and beyond.” Little Dresses for Africa also states that it is reported “that girls wearing a new little dress are much less likely to be abducted, abused, or molested because the new little dress shows that someone cares for them.” This is something that Little Dresses for Africa has strived for since their founding in 2008 by Rachel O’Neill.
The good people at Little Dresses for Africa strive to make a difference by giving girls dresses to wear, providing safe pads to menstruating women, and pants (britches) to boys. Through this they are planting seeds in the lives of the children they provide for with the hope of telling them that they are indeed worthy.
The message of worthiness is passed on through the handmade goods Little Dresses for Africa provide children. For instance, periods can be a barrier to education for many girls, yet through these reusable pads they are able to come to school. UNICEF claims that one in ten schoolgirls in Africa miss classes or drop out completely due to their period, and substitute pads and tampons for less safe and less absorbent materials such as rags, newspapers, or bark! When you are living in an area where there are several cultural ideologies about menstruation and caring for periods it is hard to gain suitable access to needed sanitary tampons and pads.
Another message of hope comes through the lessons each of the dresses carry with them as “ambassadors” teach these lessons that range from clean water, sanitation, and family skills. These also build communal relationships with people they are seeking to reach through Little Dresses for Africa.
Looking for a way to jump in and help this growing 501c3? There are several ways from sharing on Facebook, Printing the patterns attached on their website and making them, donate financially, set up a monthly gift or donate materials. There are several other ways of jumping into this wonderful organization and really planting in these girls’ hearts that they are worthy. One way you could help specifically by the founder Rachel’s request is to send donations directly to cover the cost of shipping these items to the girls.
You can reach Little Dresses for Africa at their website which is: http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/
If you are wanting to donate or connect with them and sending in your creations that are specific to the sewing instructions and sizing on the website, you can send them to this address:
Pillow Case Dress Directions
US Senders: Don’t forget to enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope so we can let you know your dresses were received.
Little Dresses for Africa 21805 Woodruff Road Rockwood, MI 48173
If you are located in another country Little Dresses for Africa has helpful addresses linked in this part of their website: http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/contact-little-dresses/