June 4, 2010

The 400 Dresses Project Update

I finally have internet back at home, so I have time to update you on our SUPER EXCITING project!

In early January, our family decided that we wanted to help drill a water well in Africa. God sent an amazing friend into our lives about two weeks later. It just so happens that Julie works for Hope 4 Kids International and it also just so happens that H4KI drills water wells in Africa! I asked Julie how much it would cost and she told me it would cost $10,150. GULP! The funny thing is that the number I had in my mind that we could manage to do somehow was $4,000. Well, I guess God needed us to have a goal that we really didn't feel we could achieve on our own and $10,150 was an amount we didn't think we could raise.

A division of H4KI is called Hope 4 Women and they have a program called Dress A Girl Around the World. After looking at the dress program, I had an idea! We could make boutique quality pillowcase dresses in pairs, send one to Uganda and one to the purchaser. That would be how we'd raise the money for the well!

I had no idea it would take me until JUNE to finally have everything in place to really start sewing and selling the dresses in earnest. It took all of that time to raise the money to purchase the fabric for the dresses. I really wanted the dresses to be made with great quality designer fabric because even girls in extreme poverty deserve to feel like a princess. Kristin at Sew, Mama, Sew! allowed us to buy all of our fabric (27 bolts!) at her cost!

The orders are rolling in and we are about 1/10th of our way to our goal!

AND just today, we received a very large check in the mail from an out of state friend. I had NO idea she and her husband were planning to donate to our well!

We met with the President of Hope 4 Kids today and I am just so inspired. I asked him if the villagers know we are raising money for a well for them and he said they do! And, as soon as they get their new well, 80% of the diseases that kill their children will be gone immediately! Lives will be saved right away! I am just beyond excited about that.

If you know anyone who you think might like a dress, would you pass on our website and our 400 Dresses Etsy shop? And, if you feel led to, please pray for our village.

Here is info on our village...Bugiri 1, Uganda:

"A well will mean saving a village of more than 15,000 from common preventable and treatable diseases, like the Dysentery, the #3 killer in East Africa. Here is your village profile information where we will be drilling your well.

Village: Burgiri 1
Parish: Bugiri
Sub County: Kasasira
County: Kibuku
District: Pallisa
Population: Adults 5,000 Children 10,300
Water Source: River Water
Distance: 6 kilometres

The name of this village is Bugiri 1 located in Eastern Uganda. Bugiri 1 is a densely populated village up in the Pallisa District which is at a high elevation and has a very dry and desolate climate. There are 5000 adults and 10,300 children in Bugiri. In the areas surrounding Bugiri 1, there is a primary school, a Trading Centre, and a Health Centre. All of the people who use these would find great benefit in having a well in Bugiri 1.

The current water source for Bugiri 1 is a river 6 kilometers (3.6 miles) away. The river is a source shared with animals and also is used as a swimming pool. The animals contaminate the water, posing serious health hazards.

Many times, the children of the home are responsible for collecting the water, mostly the girls. This forces them to stay home and not attend school. The river is also a place for fishing. Tragically, many of the fishermen corrupt under-aged children as they come to collect water. Not only is this something no child should face, they are often exposed to HIV as well.

A well in Bugiri 1 will make a huge difference for the people in and around the village. Disease will go down, the children will be able to attend school, the girls will be safe from the fishermen."

Here are pictures of the water source that the Bugiri 1 villagers currently are using:

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