Dress drive to assist matric girls

2019-05-29 06:02
Matric girls from KwaZakhele High School who have received matric dresses include, from left, Ayabonga Magaqa, Inam Thinzi, Sinazo Klaas, Sophosethu Mfula, Khuselwa Quza and Onela Bioli.               Photo:SUPPLIED

Matric girls from KwaZakhele High School who have received matric dresses include, from left, Ayabonga Magaqa, Inam Thinzi, Sinazo Klaas, Sophosethu Mfula, Khuselwa Quza and Onela Bioli. Photo:SUPPLIED

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MATRIC farewell season for high school students is around the corner, which means it’s time for girls to find that perfect dress.

A group in Port Elizabeth is hoping to help those who can’t afford a gown to still look and feel their best on their special night.

Dream Dress Drive PE is a community upliftment project run by two local women, Ronché Carthew and Kezia da Silva, that aims to assist local matric girls and realise their dream of being a princess for a night.

According to Da Silva, the dress drive provides young girls with dresses, shoes and accessories at no cost for their matric farewell.

“We host three open days throughout the year, usually to coincide with the three school terms, where we can assist 20 to 60 girls per open day,”Da Silva said.

The drive operates under the banner of the Walmer Methodist Church and makes use of one of the church halls to host the open days. The concept was tested with the matric girls of Walmer High school in 2015 and assisted approximately 70 girls.

Da Silva added, “The publicity we received triggered an avalanche of interest from other local schools and we realised that we needed to consider turning this once-off outreach into an ongoing project.”

Dream Dress Drive PE currently has 14 schools on its listings and has been able to provide dresses to more than 380 girls over the past five years.

The recent open day was held on May 25, and hosted four schools – Gamble Street High, Hankey Secondary School, Booysen Park High and KwaZakhele High.

“We were able to bless 33 girls with dresses and accessories. We do consider individual requests for assistance, but mainly rely on the teachers of our partner schools to identify girls who would benefit from our aid.

“Each year the number of girls making use of our service grows and we are so grateful for the ongoing support of the community. We gift the dresses and accessories to the girls, so we need to continuously replenish the stock that we gift out. Without these ongoing donations, we would not be able to carry the project forward each year,” Da Silva said.

The group depends on volunteers to assist with each open day, as they do not have a permanent display space available.

“We store all the stock in crates, which needs to be transported and unpacked each time we host an open day. It takes many hands to unpack and hang all our dresses as well as unpacking and displaying the shoes and accessories.

“Finally, helpers are needed to assist girls with dress and accessory selections,” Da Silva said.

If anyone would like to donate second-hand matric dance dresses or shoes, costume jewellery or by volunteering their time to assist, kindly contact Kezia or Ronché via their Facebook page, Dreamdressdrivepe.

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