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Little Dresses for Africa

Belmont 4-H | San Mateo County Status: Completed Categories: Citizenship, Social and Emotional Health Youth Leader: Alyssa | Age: 11

Children in Africa don't have everything that children in the United States have. Over one million children in Malawi alone have been orphaned to HIV/AIDS. Because girl orphans are among the most devalued and abused in their culture, and face such oppression, it is the mission of Little Dresses for Africa to plant in the hearts of these little girls that they are worthy. We are not just sending little dresses, we are sending HOPE! These dresses are sent to orphanages and churches that would have to choose to provide food or clothing but cannot fund both.

How has 4-H Helped?

This project made dresses and shorts to help children in Africa. 70 dresses and 36 shorts were made. More dresses than shorts were made because the girls are less valued in Africa than boys, so project members wanted to also send the girls hope to let them know they are valued too. There were four working sessions where a total of 53 people from the 4-H and local communities participated. In the working sessions, people learned new things. They learned how to pin, sew, tear fabric, string elastic, hem, use a sewing machine, and use a serger. There were a lot of nice people at the workshops that helped where ever they could, and if there was any extra help needed at one station or any complications, the Project Leader and the Junior Project Leader were there to help.
After all the dresses and shorts were made, the project team sorted the dresses and shorts by their various sizes. The Project Leader then packaged them in boxes and took them to a shipping company for shipment to the Little Dresses for Africa receiving location.

The Impact

This project brought the San Mateo/San Francisco Counties 4-H community and our local communities together to help the children in Africa. It helped people to understand that even if a person feels they don’t know how they can contribute in their community, there is always a way for someone to help make a difference in our community and world. This project also helped build further connections and friendships between 4-H members and members of the community. An Article and photos of the project and 4-H's involvement were posted in the local online newspaper. The project and 4-H was also discussed among friends and family in the communities, as well as published in the San Mateo / San Francisco Counties 4-H Newsletter, Belmont 4-H Club newsletter, and promoted at the various San Mateo County 4-H clubs by the project's Junior Leader.