Fashion Saves the World – Global creative citizens project
Report by Harriet Barber, Head of Art
Our Year 9 artists are working on a project which highlights the school’s focus on 'global awareness'. The 'Dress a Girl Around the World' project provides clothing and support for children in poverty or in need around the world.
Working in teams, Year 9 are making dresses and shorts for orphans at Mama Jane’s Orphanage in Uganda, in association with Jinja Educational Trust (JET). Photographers are designing fabric, fine artists are hand cutting and printing woodblock patch pockets, and textile students are machining and hand finishing the dresses and shorts.
The 'Dress a Girl Around the World' charity ' has sent over 1 million dresses and shorts to children across the world who would otherwise have very little of their own. The charity has supported children in over 80 countries and provides the clothing alongside potentially lifesaving education about human trafficking to those most in need and at risk.
Pupils spent a week researching the charity, the orphanage and JET before beginning their work on the dresses and shorts.
Michele R, one of our pupils, said, "I think that the fact we have the chance to get involved with a charity/organisation like this is a great opportunity. It helps us realise that we shouldn't take what we have for granted, because there are many children our age (and even younger) who don't have parents or any known family. It's wonderful that the work we do in school not only benefits us but also makes a positive impact on those who truly need it. Being able to witness the impact it has on the children and hear stories about people who are completely different from us is truly enriching. I hope the children love the clothes we made for them and I hope that more people will continue to donate clothes to the orphanage."
Another pupil involved stated, “We have worked with the charity before and through our research we discovered that the dresses people provide are so important. Not only are they sent with love, showing the children who receive them that they are cared for, but also, research suggests that the children who wear the dresses and shorts are less frequently targeted by traffickers, whether this is coincidental or not we can't be certain. The dresses are labelled with the charity badge on the outside, which implies that the child wearing it is supported, and so not as easy to target.”