Early this morning Dave and I were packing a suitcase. Unfortunately it wasn’t for us, but excitingly it was for 70 of the Pillowcase Dresses from my challenge!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with suitcase packing, here is a little story board of how we did it 🙂
Today the dresses started their journey to Kenya, where charity Chance to Grow will be giving them to children they support in an area called Kitale.
Dave will be handing over the dresses to Chance to Grow chairman Ben Margetts later today, and Ben will then be shipping them out to Kenya.
Chance to Grow supports an orphanage and school called Great Mercy. Founded in 2001 by Judith Mutange, Great Mercy was built in response to the number of orphans living on the streets and not receiving education in the region. The number of children needing care rose dramatically in 2007 following post-election violence when over 1,500 people were killed and 500,000 displaced in Kenya.
Great Mercy now serves many orphaned children from the region and offers education to those children who slip through the net of primary education. In Kenya, while primary education is free, secondary schooling is not and students must pay fees of around £400 per year. This is more than double the average annual income of a rural Kenyan family.
Families in rural areas are less likely to send their child to school because children are an important labour force. Girls are less likely to be educated than boys and are often married off at an early age. In addition, HIV/AIDS has left many orphans to be raised by relatives, who can’t afford to pay more school fees. The Chance to Grow goal is to support Judith and her team in providing a loving home for children with nowhere else to go, and to provide education for those who would otherwise have no access to it.
I can’t think of a better place for all our dresses to go – thanks Ben and Chance to Grow. I look forward to seeing some photos of the dresses being worn!