DCM Margaret McElligott’s remarks  “One Dress, One Smile for local transformation” project closeout event




Praia City Hall 

October 31, 2023 


His Excellency President the Municipality of Praia, Francisco Carvalho 

Representatives of the Government and of the Praia Municipality 

Founder of the One Dress One Smile Initiative (ODOS) 

Ladies and Gentlemen Partners and Beneficiaries 

Dear Guests 


Good afternoon, everyone and thank you very much for your presence. 

At today’s event, we will together recognize and celebrate the results of our partnership in implementing the One Dress One Smile for Local Transformation project. 

This is a project that, in strong partnership with the Municipality of Praia, worked with beneficiaries – informal dress makers – from various communities in the city with a focus on promoting economic activities and local transformation and empowerment. 

The combination of these activities is very important and aligns perfectly with the philosophy of the Self-Help Fund of the United States Embassy in Praia. It promotes inclusion and economic and social development at the community level, from a sustainable perspective through local empowerment. 

Our financing of $8,450 allowed the purchase of sewing materials, training in various areas including small project management, marketing, and emotional intelligence, and also helped start a network cooperative initiative for women dress makers, as well as training in leadership and local transformation techniques. 

I am pleased to hear the testimony of the beneficiaries and get to know your products.  Working from a cooperative perspective is something that can bring very relevant results.  It complements individual efforts, helps respond to demand with greater quality and quantity, contributing to more employment and better access to economic opportunities.  I hope that this initiative continues, that it is very successful and that it serves as an inspiration for other initiatives. 

Once again, thank you very much to all partners.  I would like to thank the Municipality of Praia for its partnership and engagement in identifying beneficiaries and providing spaces for training activities. 

To the beneficiaries, I thank you for your participation in the project.  Congratulations and good luck! 

Thank you.