Hundreds of Local Women Aid Girls in Uganda
Soroptimists of Grass Valley (SIGV) was joined by over one hundred area women in producing handmade dresses for young girls in Uganda, Africa. It has been found that sex-traffickers are discouraged from kidnapping young girls in vulnerable countries or any area when they see the girls dressed in a garment that someone has lovingly sewn for them. It signifies that someone watches over and cares for them, according to news reports.
This project was the brainchild of “Hope For Women International,” dedicated to empowering and educating women. One activity of the group is creating simple dresses for the “Dress a Girl Around the World” (DAG) project. Soroptimist International, one of the world’s largest women’s service organizations, with clubs in almost every country across the globe, has in the Sierra-Nevada District adopted the “Dress a Girl” campaign as a “Governor’s project.”
The local club, headed by Judy East and Jenni Johnson, co-presidents, appointed member Lynn Mehren Costa to organize a a local movement to gather materials, make patterns, compile sewing kits and sew dresses, to be taken to Uganda by local volunteers.
This past fall, Soroptimist of Grass Valley gathered over 400 dresses sewn by people who answered a public call to sew to protect children from kidnapping. Three hundred dresses were taken to Central Uganda and handed out to young girls in three different villages by Lynn Costa and volunteers from the Twin Cities Church.
The success of this venture has encouraged the women’s service club to continue their endeavors to dress girls in sex trafficking danger zones. Two more events are schedule sewing to ready materials and to make more dresses at an old-fashioned sewing bee on two Saturdays in March, the 10th and the 24th, from 1 to 5 p.m., at Twin Cities Church. The church is located at 11726 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley.
The public is invited to join in the effort to produce a batch of dresses which will be sent to several non-profits with connections in parts of the world where girls and women in need are being served.
For those interested in helping who may have extra pieces of 100-percent cotton fabric (even scraps), they can drop supplies off from 4 to 6 p.m., at Twin Cities Church. Many volunteers will continue to sew the year round and can use any and all materials donated, states Lynn Costa.
Mrs. Costa added that being in the group who visited three villages in Uganda to deliver the dresses was a highlight of her life, not to be forgotten. The villagers were most grateful for the clothes and even asked her to teach them to sew, she said.
She added that both Soroptimist International and the “Dress a Girl” campaign appreciate how so many women in Nevada County, and elsewhere, stepped forward to donate materials and then cut, trim and sew the first 400 dresses. Costa also thanks Twin Cities Church for allowing the use of their facility for the sewing events and for helping to distribute dresses while on the church’s Uganda Missions trip.
For more information or to volunteer or donate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Lynn Mehren-Costa at email@example.com.
By Marilyn Adams- George, Soroptimist International of Grass Valley
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