Bringing vocational skills to our girls through upcycling


A friend of ACEF introduced to us the concept of creating dresses out of ‘pillowcases’ and immediately volunteers, Julie Wooldridge and Janice Addison, realised the potential of this approach to both provide a very personal dress for our girls at Brainhouse and potentially a way to offer vocational training possibilities for these young people.  Can you imagine the joy for the girls at Brainhouse – to pull that dress over their head that has been made especially for them!

Janice and Julie collected a huge amount of material, bedding sheets, curtains and tablecloths as well as ribbons and beads. and began making dresses, later joined by more volunteers – Cheryl, Lyn and Mags.

dresses 4To extend the idea even further, a number of dress kits were assembled as well as finished dresses and shorts so that pupils at Brainhouse could be taught to sew to the simple patterns.

So in April 2018 we were delighted to send to the orphans at Brainhouse, a total of 80 dresses, and 30 kits for the children to make up themselves.  The boys were very disappointed that we only managed 7 pairs of shorts, but this will be rectified by the time of the next outgoing team of volunteers.  We received in return some pictures of beautiful models who were very pleased to be wearing the dresses.  The recipients seemed delighted.

Our focus for 2019 is on making bags.  The Kenyan Government has banned the use of plastic bags so children could use their sewing skills to make simple bags. We are prototyping bags and backpacks of varied designs, which they will be able to use immediately, or sell to buy more fabric in Nairobi. If you can donate braid it will help with these endeavours.

If you have other ideas or skills that you can offer to support the vocational and practical skill development of the children at Brainhouse, then we would be pleased to discuss your ideas – come along and join our volunteer group.





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