Ugandan children show off their new styles

Ugandan children show off their new styles

Peninsula Girl Guides help in Uganda

Ugandan orphans who call Abetavu Children’s Village home are sporting new styles these days, thanks to South Surrey/White Rock Girl Guides.

Ugandan orphans who call Abetavu Children’s Village home are sporting new fashions these days, following a concerted effort by Peninsula Girl Guides to make a difference.

Nearly two dozen colourful dresses were distributed last month to youngsters under the care of Coquitlam native Carli Travers. They were sewn over a two-week period by parents of 1st Kla How Ya Guides, using fabric donated by Laura’s Fashion Fabrics in White Rock and Surrey’s Wineberry Fabrics.

“The dresses are amazing,” Travers said by email from Uganda Monday. “Our girls all felt like princesses.”

The Guides hosted Travers and her husband, Robert Birungi, at the South Surrey home of Susan Richards de Wit on Dec. 5. Travers has lived in Uganda and taken in street children there since 2007. She and Birungi are currently ‘parents’ to 14 Ugandan children and three of their own.

Their visit here was a highlight of the Guides’ work on an international community service project, and included a chance to hear from Travers herself all about the work she and Birungi are undertaking in an effort to change lives of young Ugandans.

Among other things, they learned it’s not uncommon for girls their ages (9-12) to work all day with an infant on their backs – news they were “so surprised” by, Richards de Wit said.

The Dec. 5 event included a sale of Ugandan crafts. In just two hours, the Guides raised $1,800, all of which will benefit the children’s village. In addition to baking, marketing and hosting, the Guides collected school supplies and gently used clothing for Travers and Birungi to take back to Uganda.

The support, said Travers, was “fantastic.”

“They helped to make the fundraiser… a great success.”