Little Dresses for Africa: Making a Difference



Handmade Dresses Hanging in the Wind. Photo Courtesy of Enid Public Library

By Trinity Donnelly, Klein Cain High School

The Klein Cain Sewing Club is starting a new project, creating dresses for little girls. However, the dresses they’re creating are more important than some may assume. These dresses are destined to travel across the sea, all the way to Africa. These little dresses will find their way into the little hands of the little girls who need them most.

“Our club started one month ago, with the intention to use our skills to help people in need,” club sponsor Madison McQuary said. “Sometime after that Mrs. James got a grant to make dresses for children in Africa. We are now working with her to create these dresses, before sending them off to be delivered.”

The Klein Cain Fashion Club is still in its infancy, with this being its first year of operation. However, despite its small beginnings, this club has started off strong. Starting Oct. 8, the club will be working on its first large scale project. The dresses will be sent to Little Dresses for Africa (LDFA), a nonprofit organization, to ensure the dresses reach their destination.

A Helping Hand

Image from Little Dresses for Africa

These dresses have more of an impact than often meets the eye. Every week the organization ships out dresses, meaning their work is year long. Despite their namesake, they do more than dresses. While the focus is creating dresses for the young girls, the organization also sends pants for young boys. This year, they will be working to provide clean water to remote villages.

“We will be making about 15 to 20 different dresses that will eventually be sent to children in Africa,” McQuary said. “However, this project will not be our last. We plan on finding other ways to help communities who are in need of help in the future.”

The clothing sent out by LDFA is handmade, often created from pillowcases. However, some choose to use new fabrics when makes said dresses. They accept donations from not just groups, but also individuals. The clothing provides dignity and honor to children who might be lacking it otherwise.

There is a natural concern that is raised by such charity, however. The primary concern of many is that donations could cause interference with the economy of these developing nations. However, LDFA distributes this clothing to orphanages and rural villages, where the demand is high and they would not risk interfering with the economy.

“We distribute these dresses through orphanages and churches to children who would have to choose food or clothing but could not receive both,” the LDFA stated. “We go to remote villages to distribute them, not where we would compete with their businesses. We have also delivered them to little girls in Sudan who were wearing absolutely nothing until they received their new dresses.”

The Future

As for Klein Cain’s Sewing Club, they will continue to work on their dresses, with a few other projects on the side. Along with their plans for an upcoming fundraiser, they are looking for other opportunities to help those in need. This upcoming fundraiser will help to fund their current and future projects.

“Currently we are planning an upcoming fundraiser,” Lily Martinez, an officer in the Sewing Club said. “This fundraiser will involve teaching our school teachers how to sew. This money will go to supporting our club in its current and future activities.”

This story was originally published on Cain Live on October 10, 2019.