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

marley-3-tbd$120,000 raised at The BIG DINNER with all of your support.  The money is still coming in and we are looking forward to The BIG DINNER 2017 in October of this year.  In Detroit we will be featuring a MOTOWN night.  Start thinking of your theme now.  We have so much to do and we need to work together.  Our first project with the money raised is to build the hostel for some of the girls that Chief Katchindamoto has helped to rescue from child marriages.  Because of you they will have mattresses and pillows and blankets in a dormitory with not only plumbing but electricity so they can do they school work after their school days.  We are so delighted to be part of this and we thank YOU for making it happen!!! Don’t forget to order your beautiful video of our SEND DOWN song by ERIK GRANT BENNETT that portrays the beauty of the projects and the children put to music.  $10 pre-order and you will receive a free CD of the song for your car or cd player as well.  Let me know how many you want.  This makes a tremendous gift and introduction to the ministry.

 

 

 

 

The Official BIG DINNER T-shirt is available on line.  4 color on Vintage Black features a “Bob Marley” pose by our own Chad Dohring, our Musical Guest for the BIG DINNER- World Headquarters.  91 locations are listed on the back.  If you are hosting a BIG DINNER, you won’t want to miss getting yours!  Limited Supply.  Available in short sleeves. On line at  http://www.ldfaconnect.com/shopldfa/

LDFA_2016_PcardBack_625x45_001

Take a minute and listen to the words to our theme song, “Send Down”.  If anything ever described our purpose, this beautiful song does.  Do me a favor and purchase the download and play it over and over so that our mission is in the forefront of your mind.  “…keep giving God all the glory.”

We are definitely on the count down to November 12, 2016.  Lots of planning and work has gone into this exciting day and it is OH SO WORTH IT!!!  Can you just imagine the lives that will be changed forever because of our efforts?   Transforming 12 villages in a single night with clean water, primary education and a community meeting center.  Thank you in advance for what is already a successful event!  Be sure to tell people why we focus on these 3 thingsClean water saves lives immediately and frees up the time that the little ones would have to spend carrying water long distances, and prevents them from stopping at contaminated streams for water because it’s closer and easier.  Primary Education ensures that children will earn the necessary primary letter of completion which will allow them to continue to secondary school.  Since they often have no one to encourage them on, it’s especially important to orphans and child-headed families to have primary education near where they live.  A community meeting center allows the village a place to gather for worship, and to exchange information, host a mobile medical clinic while it protects them from the harsh sun or shelter during the difficult rainy season.  These 3 projects have been identified through your beautiful little dresses and will make a lasting difference in the lives of thousands.  Thank you seems too small a phrase, but thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!  To God be the glory!

Remember, Rome Raffle tickets are available while they last until the eve of the BIG DINNER.  The winner of this incredibly generous offer by Myra Moreland, a dedicated humanitarian and friend, will be announced at the BIG DINNER.  Tickets are $100 with a limit of 150. Your chances are great to win.   100% of the money goes directly to the BIG DINNER.   Rome Raffle is a don’t miss!  We will send your tickets as soon as you register/purchase on line. 6Days/5Nights in Italy and $1000 voucher for travel.  This incredible donation is valued at $4000 but the memories will be priceless!   Thank you so much!  If you are hosting a Big Dinner, your DVDs to show at your event will be there soon!  Be sure to share your pictures and stories!  Also remember if your friends can’t attend, they can still donate on line.

 

italy-raffle-ticket

Limited to 150 entries. $100/each

chief-and-rachelIt’s been a busy summer and here comes fall!  We have so much to look forward to and hardly have had time to enjoy what we’ve just completed!  Two trips to Malawi this year and both of them amazingly in their own unique way.  We were so happy to return at the end of August with a team of 12 dynamic people.  We were able to spend time near Kasungu at the Village of Linyangwa, as well as be part of a medical day with Ministry of Hope in Kitondo.  We were delighted to stop by and check on the Nancy Ray School of Learning in Ntcheu and see Janet and all the kids in that area and spend a day with Senior Chief Theresa Kachindamoto. It was humbling to be able to share a meal with this woman of change, donned in her leopard skin clothing and traditional beads, carries such a cloak of confident and power that respect comes easily from everyone she meets. It was amazing to see her interact with all of the people both young and old as we walked to the area where we would be part of the ceremony to open and dedicate the well which Little Dresses for Africa was able to provide through your generosity.  Chief Kachindamoto will be our guest and keynote speaker at the BIG DINNER in Michigan 11.12.16 and will be speaking at various gathering during the two weeks that she is here.  We are looking forward to developing a deep working relationship that will change thousands of lives. We encourage you to get your tickets if you are in the area.

Huge thanks to all the locations who are busy planning their own BIG DINNERS.  This day will mark a day of celebration as we join together all over the globe to transform 12 villages in a single night.  I am convinced that we can do it.  Big or small, please be part of this effort.  Go to www.ldfaconnect.com to register.  You will find all kinds of information and help there or give me a call or send me an email at Rachel@littledressesforafrica.com     Thank you so much for your help.  Be sure to check out the pictures in the gallery of our recent trip.

Love,

Rachel

M o r e   i n f o