There have been so many amazing people that have come into my life through little dresses.  I can’t begin to tell you the amazing stories that are shared with me.  It is a highlight of the entire program for me to hear how people are connected and how they came to be volunteers.

In 2011 I got a call from Nancy Zieman’s production assistant who invited me to appear on her show in a segment “Nancy’s Corner”, where she highlighted groups or people who were using their sewing talents to help others.  I accepted that invitation and it was the beginning of an immediate friendship with Nancy as well as a continuing blessing to our ministry.

Link is here for more information concerning this on line promotion to help LDFA.

Nancy and her staff have promoted our mission for years and have personally received over 200,000 little dresses in their Wisconsin facility. The company continues even after Nancy’s retirement to spread the word and receive and ship the dresses for us.

Saturday, September 30, 2017 I will be appearing on  Facebook Live  “Behind the Seams Event” from St. Louis, MO with Baby Lock, telling our story and seeing all the things that can be done with these amazing machines.  I hope you’ll tune in and give me a shout out.  Here’s the link if you want more information.

The generosity continues! For one week they will be donating 10% of all on line sales to Little Dresses for Africa.  Thank you for joining in with this generous offer.  And thank you, Nancy’s Notions!

It’s hard to believe it’s the middle of August. Time flies by when you are running after your passion! I’ve been to Africa twice this year and I am amazed at the progress of all that is being accomplished through your generosity. Our LDFA-Malawi non-government organization (NGO) is running so efficiently and getting the distributions out at an impressive rate. We are reaching villages that have not been served before and following up on our projects which are already in place. The schools are going well and we are working on second “blocks” (buildings) to increase our impact and teach more children.  The dormitory for the girls at Golomoti is equipped and we are working on getting piped water to the facility. The nearby toilets are set at a safe distance. All of these blessings are a result of your continued generosity and interest in the people of Africa and beyond. And of course the dresses are going out every week. Thank you to all of you who are sewing and also those who are sending checks to support the postage and transportation of these blessings. If you have a mission team going, please contact us and take some with you. It will take all of us to get these dresses on the children and our job is not finished until they are wearing your little dresses!

To support these projects and much more we are working diligently on our Second annual BIG DINNER scheduled Saturday, Nov 4, 2017.  Dinner parties large and small will be held all across the world to support these works. Be sure to register for yours today at: The BIG DINNER HOSTS PAGE. 

For those in this area, our BIG DINNER will be all DETROIT this year! Held at the iconic Detroit Historical Museum, we will be offering a strolling dinner by non other than SLOWS BBQ in Detroit, MOTOWN music orchestrated by The Trudell family and local Motown artists. Our auction will consist of DETROIT products and prizes.  Tickets are available on line here or contact me directly. This is going to be a night to remember with amazing results for our cause. Thank you in advance for all that you will do to make this happen.  I can’t wait to hear from you.

Love and thanks!

Rachel

Today is an exciting day for us as we celebrate a very dear friend and my son (by heart if not blood), Mike Mchawa Banda, of Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa. I am so proud of this man as he enjoys his graduation of his Masters of Business degree. I have known Mike since he was a boy, and have watched him grow in stature and wisdom. He is an intregal part of Little Dresses for Africa and many blessings have come to us through him, not the least of these being his beautiful and dear wife (and now my daughter), Ida, and their children, Sharon Rachel, Shania, and son Precious. He has welcomed many of you that have joined me on short term trips to the warm heart of Africa and knowing him you undoubtedly feel as proud of him as I do at this accomplishment. that introduces his work through LDFA, but allow me this personal tribute to someone in whom I am SO proud. I love you, Michael! Good work and to God be the glory. Greater things are yet to come! Mum/Rachel

 

May 2017 marks the time that the girls hostel is opened in Golomoti, in the District of Dedza, Malawi. This was a dream that came to life through Senior Chief Theresa Kachindamoto.  When we visited with her a short year ago, she mentioned that the girls that she rescues from child marriages are back in school but they have to find their own lodging.  Sometimes it’s a room in a house, sometimes it’s very far, or expensive, but it’s always a challenge as they go back to school. At times they have children that they have left with other adults to raise in hopes that their education will change their future. Sometimes they come with scars of abuse or embarrassment or shame. But they are all young girls with dreams and they needed a place to call home while completing their studies. I will admit, I didn’t even know what a hostel was. But with our collaboration with Senior Chief, we not only built it but with your help, we paid for bunk beds that now have sheets, beautiful quilts, pillows and pillowcases. It is one of the most exciting things I have experienced as I saw these girls watching us put the beds together and cover the new mattresses with gorgeous bedding. I can’t thank you enough for helping to make this happen.  Your donations to the BIG DINNER, your donations of bedding and money to pay for the facility and the beds…all of it…ALL OF IT… was vital and came together with life-changing results for these girls. One thing you can know for sure: your donations GET directly to these girls and your blessings are appreciated.  Thank you and God bless your good works!!! Love, Rachel

More Pictures of the opening celebration

 

 

 

Having just returned from the opening of the primary school in Mataka, we are so proud to announce that we now have 3 amazing teachers.  Our Head Schoolmaster and 2 other teachers are dedicated to these precious children.  What a blessing this is to so many.  Four of us from the United States were able to attend the opening celebration of the Nalikule Lea School along with several other honored guests.  The excitement surrounding it was highlighted by the attendance of all the Chiefs from the area as well as a Member of Parliament and the Director of Education. The children seemed to know the importance of the day and sat with amazing attention to the speeches presented by each honored guest. We were able to supply matching dresses to the students which will serve as uniforms until we can supply them with uniforms.  Sadly, we did not have shorts or shirts for the boys but we are working on making that happen.  Stay tuned for a uniform sponsorship program coming very soon.

Another delight was on our way to visit with Chief Kachindamoto and check on the building of the hostel structure, we were able to personally deliver a few “Buckets of Hope” to a few widows in dire need.  The Chief did a great job is identifying the widows that were in the most need of some encouragement and help. We were blessed by meeting them. On our way to one in particular we were walking along a muddy road (it’s rainy season) and as the group moved ahead, I noticed a little girl who was trying to follow us as we walked.  She was shy and I quickly spotted the reason; she was only wearing a skirt as her dress, but the elastic was worn and stretched out and no longer held it up.  She had the skirt wrapped up and held up against her chest to cover herself the best she could. The moment I saw her I remembered why we were there: to honor and protect little girls and I had to do something immediately. I let the others walk ahead and I went back to the van to rummage around until I found a dress that I thought would fit her. It was gorgeous and I brought it out and I took her by the hand and showed it to her and then put it on over her worn out skirt.  The smile is with me still.  I can picture it in my mind and luckily I was able to snap a shot so now you also can know her.  She represents the very essence of what we try to do.  We want to bring dignity to little girls.  We want to honor them. We want to bring them hope.  Your little dresses do that for them.  Never for even a minute forget how important your work is.  We thank you for your faithful support. I don’t know her name.  But it doesn’t matter.  She’s one of our children and a child of God.  I won’t forget her.

We were so grateful to be part of this quick trip and to visit briefly with our friends. Everyone is working hard on projects. The hostel is coming along well.  The mattresses have arrived and the bedding and blankets are on their way in the 40ft container that left last Saturday.  We pray that we will have it all there for the opening of the hostel in May.  What a place of hope and of natural beauty! The elephants send their greetings!  Love, Rachel

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