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29th Jun, 2022

Warwickshire 'Scrubs Club' upcycles pillowcases to make dresses for Rwandan children

PILLOWCASE-turned dresses and Bermuda shorts have been making life easier for children in Rwanda thanks to a Warwickshire sewing group.

Ratley-based Scrubs Club was formed during the first lockdown to help produce NHS scrubs and masks from unwanted fabric.

When restrictions began easing, leftover fabric was used to make dozens of dresses from unwanted pillowcases for girls in Rwanda.

The move was inspired by Compassionate Direct UK which helps communities in impoverished and developing countries.

Among the projects is the charity’s efforts to help Rwandan women suffering from HIV – a legacy of the genocide which ended in 1994.

HIV cases among women in the East-African country have meant some families face poverty because of prejudice against those with the condition. Although medication is provided freely by the government, the mothers cannot afford the food they need to offset the affects of the medication. This means many children are left orphaned and do not want to go to school because a lack of clothing.

The initial dresses were received over summer, but an abundance of material led to the decision to create some 60 pairs of Bermuda shorts for boys and a further 40 dresses from upcycled pillowcases. The second delivery recently arrived in Rwanda, to be distributed by a local church in the village.

The talented group also sold homemade masks to cover the cost of the postage.

CDUK is aiming to make a secure building where the women can meet, with room for sewing machines, tables and storage so they can learn a trade to support themselves and their families.

Visit www.compassiondirectuk.org for more details.

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