One Girl’s Do It In A Dress campaign has launched for the eighth consecutive year, with the aim to raise over $500,000 to educate girls in two of the most challenging places in the world to be born a girl; Sierra Leone and Uganda.
With over 130 million girls around the world denied access to an education, One Girl is encouraging Australian’s to sign up and support the cause in a fun and creative way – by wearing a school dress and completing a challenge on the 11th of October 2019, International Day of the Girl.
Australians have surfed, hiked, cycled, snowboarded, pulled stunts and even gone to work in a dress, raising nearly $4 million since 2011. These funds have helped One Girl provide support across five key program areas including; providing access to quality education – in and out of the classroom, supporting and inspiring future female role models, promoting health and menstrual hygiene and tackling period taboos, advocating for sexual rights, safe relationships and respect for girls, and championing gender equality by elevating the role and status of women and girls across the world.
One Girl CEO, Sarah Ireland, explains that educating girls lifts families and communities out of poverty, helps fight climate change and creates a real difference in the world.
“We are so excited to have officially launched Do It In A Dress for 2019 and can’t wait to see all the challenges Aussies complete to raise awareness! Every dollar raised can make an incredible positive impact in a girl’s life. $300 for example is enough to send a girl to school for an entire year and provide her with everything she needs from books, a school bag, shoes, uniforms, and even a light by which to do her homework,” says Sarah.
Right now, only 16% of girls born in Sierra Leone are likely to complete high school and a girl is more likely to be married before she turns 18 than she is to finish high school.
“There’s no denying that when a girl has the opportunity to have an education she can change her world. An educated girl will marry later, have smaller and healthier families, help prepare her family for climatic disasters and, for every year a girl stays in school, she’ll increase her income by at least 10%, investing 90% of it back into her family,” Sarah adds.
Funds raised from Do It In A Dress have changed thousands of lives, with One Girl supporting 501 girls with scholarships. Additionally, One Girl has assisted with the rebuild of schools and toilet facilities, provided over 12,152 girls and women with menstrual hygiene management education, educated 2,423 girls in water, sanitation and hygiene and provided 23,662 girls and boys with business educational skills through its Business Brains program.
Jennifer, who works at One Girl as a Fundraising Coordinator, is from Sierra Leone and was able to learn valuable business skills through a scholarship program just like One Girl’s. She explains the impact people can have on the lives of those living in Sierra Leone:
“After my family became impoverished due to war, I had to leave school at the age of 11 and work to support my family. I realised the power of education when I was given the opportunity to go to school and then sponsored through university – my life has been completely transformed through education! I’m passionate about helping girls like me, who aren’t given the same educational opportunities that many people in Australia have access to,” says Jennifer.
“We want to encourage all Australians to get involved and wear a dress this year. A little goes a long way; $20 is enough to supply a girl in Sierra Leone and Uganda with two reusable sanitary pad kids that will last for three whole years, $50 is enough for a girl to recieve vocational and life skills training for three months, $160 is enough to run four local radio shows where girls and young women can talk about safe periods and help bust menstrual myths, $300 can give a girl access to an education for an entire year and $500 is enough for 16 girls to join a Girls’ Club to learn about positive body image, relationships, financial literacy and leadership. Together, we can change the world one girl at a time,” Sarah adds.
One Girl is calling on all Australians to stand up for every girl’s right to an education – join the movement and sign up or donate via www.onegirl.org.au.
WHY GIRL’S EDUCATION?
- Over 130 million girls around the world are denied an education simply because they were born a girl
- Sierra Leone and Uganda are some of the most challenging places in the world to be born a girl: almost 50% of female youth in Sierra Leone are illiterate, up to 40% of girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda are forced into child marriage and 3 in 5 girls in Sierra Leone don’t attend school
- A girl born in Sierra Leone is more likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to attend high school
- 14 million girls across the world under the age of 18 will be forced into marriage this year
- In sub-saharan Africa only 1 in 5 girls will make it to high school
THE POWER OF EDUCATION
- For every year a girl stays in school, her income will increase by 10-25%
- An educated woman’s children are 50% more likely to live past the age of five
- For every dollar she earns, she will invest 90% of it back into her family
- Since 2009, funds raised from Do It In A Dress have drastically changed thousands of lives. One Girl have raised nearly $4 million and supported 501 girls with scholarships
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