100 Dresses campaign launches in support of survivors of the Rwandan genocide

A local organization is hoping to raise $10,000 in the coming weeks to support survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Spearheaded by Cannington resident Joanne St. Louis, DODA International is a not-for-profit group dedicated to alleviating poverty in the formerly war-torn country.
“Although it has been 24 years since the genocide, many women as still facing an overwhelming challenge to overcome the long-lasting effects of this devastating war,” a press release from the organization notes.
St. Louis has been making annual visits to Rwanda for the past 10 years to teach sewing skills and develop opportunities for co-operative, self-sufficient enterprises.
“Sewing co-operatives are generally comprised of women with varying technical and professional experience. Many of these women have suffered trauma and have minimal formal education but have learned to sew to support themselves and their families,” the press release reads.
“Co-operatives become a safe and productive place for people to gain self-confidence and community while improving their financial situation. This means providing suitable housing, clothing and education for their children.”
Next month, St. Louis will be heading back to Rwanda along with DODA directors Katelyn Lloyd, Leann O’Connell and Linda Connelly to deliver a new training course on commercial garment production.
“This training focuses on teaching the complete process of producing an order of clothing and shipping it on time to a client. It is necessary to assist co-operatives in gaining the skills and equipment they need to compete in both their local markets and export their products to other countries,” the release reads.
The organization is hoping to sell 100 hand-crafted linen dresses before the end of the year, with proceeds supporting the purchase of sewing machines and funding operational expenses for the upcoming trip.
“We need your help to make this project a success,” the press release reads.
Dress orders can be placed ONLINE and donations to the effort will gladly be accepted.
For more information, click HERE or visit DODA International on FACEBOOK.

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