Thursday, March 15, 2012

Long Locs goes to Africa for Little Dresses Photo Shoot

I just returned from a trip to Guinea BIssau West Africa. I had my DNA traced to Guinea Bissau back in 2010. I am 100% Fula.  After learning that it is the 4th poorest country in the world I wanted to do something to help.

The first thing I did was a project called "Little Dresses for Africa". I got a group of about 20 people together and we made about 125 dresses to send to Africa.

I wanted my dresses to go to Guinea Bissau but Rachel O'Neil (the founder of the organization) had no contacts in that country but she told me if I could make contact with someone there she would send the dresses over for me.

In Guinea Bissau girls are second class citizens, they are subjected to female genital cutting and forced marriage at an early age. They really have no way to  advance themselves. Most people live with no electricity and no clean running water. After witnessing the poverty there first hand I believe that even though they have no parents, the girls at the orphanage probably have it better than most little girls in the country. They have clean water, a bed and people to care for them.

After searching and searching I finally made a connection with a high school principal of a school located on the grounds of Casa Emanuel where they have an orphanage. I really wanted to send the dresses to these little girls. One HUGE problem was that the country is politically unstable and it is nearly impossible to get goods in and out of the country.

Knowing of the possibility that dresses might never arrive,  Rachel O'Neil agreed to send the dresses anyway. We mailed them last June and got the good news that they finally arrived in October.

But the best news of all was when I was finally able to make the trip to the orphanage a few weeks ago and meet the girls and see them in the beautiful dresses we made.

What a joy it was when I visited the orphanage and they greeted me wearing the dresses.

Here's a little slideshow of the girls modeling the dresses.

Oh, also, they could not believe my hair was REAL! It was a hoot.

Since it is almost impossible to ship into the country I plan to work on a new project (a spin off of Little Dresses for Africa) we are going to put women to work in the villages making dresses where they can earn money. They will also make dresses to give to needy girls in other villages. I will post more later. If you would be interested in participating in this project or have any suggestions please let me know. 

Enjoy! Oh and I'd be soo happy if you would share this video with your friends or on your site. Thanks


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