Elimu Girls will be on Holiday until July 1, 2021. All orders made during this time will be sent when we return.

As with all handmade items, no two pieces are the same. Variations in size, color, and design may occur.

Made In Kenya

Authentic Halisi

Halisi means “Authentic” in Swahili.

This paper dress collaboration is with Los Angeles street artist, Juan Barajas. Bold colors and design display authentic messages of hope throughout, and in the back an intricate illustration of an Elimu Girl.

Hope. Creativity. Empowerment. Financial freedom. This is what the paper dress represents.

Each small but mighty paper dress is a training tool made out of Kenyan corn maize flour bags. The paper dress remains unique because, although modeled after a school uniform, each dress is one-of-a-kind and handcrafted by her.

Within the folds of every single dress holds the story of a village girl who wants to create change in her future, and contribute to her community.

Frame the this paper dress; a training tool transformed into a piece of art by humble, steady hands.

Approximate Sizing: 15.5″ x 12″ inches.

Availability: 1 in stock

Minimum donation: $250.00

A minimum suggested donation of $250 will support our efforts to provide girls with a sewing machine.

Bring Kenya into your home!

Each Paper Dress Kit Includes:

  • Paper Dress
  • Kitenge & Paper Dress Zine
  • Extras: Dress Sticker + Kitenge Swatch
  • Tax-Deductible Receipt
  • Frame NOT Included

Shipping Details

$12 dollar flat rate in the USA for UPS Standard Shipping. For International Shipping - Please reach out to cindy@elimugirls.com.

Additional Donation Information

Make a donation to Elimu Girls, a non-profit founded by women empowering young girls in Kenya. Tax details will be emailed to you and your donation is tax-deductible in the US.

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Artisan Profile

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Juan Barajas

Studied School of Design and Arts at Platt College Los Angeles

Juan believes that all teens should have choices and not be defined by their zip codes. Equality is important to him, and doing your part is part of the gig. He believes, “Art is expression,” and he enjoys print, fashion design, and illustrative design work. He is the owner of Crownhill Designs and studied at the School of Design and Arts.

He is a native Angeleno and enjoys California style West Coast Art. For years, he has fostered his love of street art with local charities such as Refoundry, Make Education The Answer, and now Elimu Girls. Art for good! He has a deep commitment to his community and improving the lives of those less fortunate.  In his spare time, he doubles as a tattoo artist and enjoys sketching with his four artistic children.

“Every girl should be treated as an equal.”

- Juan Barajas

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Meet Our Artisan Partners

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The artisans want you to know that every purchase you make helps her buy fabric, supplies, sewing machines, and so much more. In a world where you can be anything, thank you for being kind.

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Initially, our first-year students simply sewed on recycled paper because it was less expensive than fabric. But quickly, as the dresses began to adorn the college classroom, we realized these were works of art themselves. From collar to cuff link, every girl was able to touch each dress with her hands, her village, and her ingenuity.

Together, while learning the art of sewing, her story was deeply imprinted on every dress she created. It became a symbol of her struggle, her dreams, and her will to overcome. As this dress empowers her beautiful self, we wanted to have it travel from Kenya to you – and let the message of hope live on in your home.