News Story

Mormon Youth Create Dresses for Africa

Hundreds of youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently gathered together in Brampton, Ontario, to sew 132 dresses for young girls in need in western Kenya.

The Church teamed up with Community Education Services Canada (CES), an organization that provides hope through access to education for children who are orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The dresses are expected to be delivered in early March to the Divine Providence Orphanage in the Kakamega region of western Kenya.

Marilyn Evans, one of the organizers of the project, said that their goal “was to show the youth that there are opportunities all around them to serve on a global level by doing small things in their own neighbourhoods.”

The youth made 134 dresses last summer at a youth leadership conference, bringing the overall total number to 266 dresses made for the CES organization.

Each youth was given one specific task to do — cutting, sewing, pinning, trimming or ironing. The women from the Relief Society organization of the Church donated beautiful fabrics, and 15 experienced adult seamstresses from across Ontario were on hand to train and supervise the youth, many of whom were new to sewing machines.

“What I found most exciting in preparing for this service project was to see the various organizations work together so well,” said Evans. “Best of all, we were able to reach out to our community and give assistance to an organization like CES, which is working so hard to make a difference in children’s lives.”

CES has a decade-long presence in Kenya. In those 10 years, CES has been involved in 30 school communities, promoting general health improvements, psychosocial support, HIV/AIDS support, gender equity, children’s rights, reproductive health and best hygiene practices.

Michael Frederiksen, president of CES Canada, which partners with CES Kenya, expressed deep appreciation for the efforts of the Church on behalf of needy youth in rural Kenya.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are involved in relief and development projects for humanitarian purposes in countries all over the world. Projects operate without regard to the nationality or religion of the recipients.

The humanitarian services arm of the Church sponsors five ongoing global projects to help people become more self-reliant. Initiatives include neonatal resuscitation training, clean water projects, wheelchair distribution, vision treatment and measles vaccinations.


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