By: Eliza Partika
The S-Club of Benicia High School is joining Northgate church’s effort to send dresses to girls in Africa through Dress a Girl Around the World, a nonprofit organization that helps girls feel beautiful by giving them a new dress. Dress a Girl Around the World operates internationally, with its main partners being the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Costa Rica, Norway, Japan, South Africa and New Zealand.
Northgate is taking the dresses with them on their annual trip to Uganda to clothe orphaned Ugandan girls.”It helps to give them dignity, and sometimes, it’s the only piece of clothing that they own.” , Carol Abreu, Northgate’s Business Administrator, said. the orphanages work in conjunction with Hope 4 Kids International, another nonprfit which according to their website, hope4kidsinternational.org , serves impoverished children by ‘establishing economic, spiritual, water, orphan, and feeding programs.” A Dress A Girl label is put on to each dress to help protect the girls from predators because a labeled dress lets predators know that the girls are being watched over by a powerful organization.
The dresses are made of cotton fabric that is cut and sewn together and given to girls from young babies to 14 year olds. The dresses are simple tubes of colorful fabric adorned with ribbons and cloth cut out designs. Although the dress pattern itself is simple,decorations are added to give the dress a unique twist that will make it special for any girl. The dress project has given those who love sewing, as well as those who are just learning, an opportunity to know that they are doing something positive for other people.
So far, Northgate has sewn around 150 dresses, and are well on their way to their 250 dress goal.The Soroptimist became part of the dress making project through a Soroptimist member who was also a member of the church, and has since connected S-Club with Northgate’s endeavor. The S-Club has made at least 5 dresses so far; they are working to add more. Northgate has been holding sessions at the church to sew dresses.
The next sessions are on May 5th and June 25th. The June 25th meeting will be to package the dresses and prepare them for the trip to Uganda.