lifestyle

One Girl is leading a social movement, and she's doing it in a dress.

Chantelle[1][1]
One Girl co-founder Chantelle Baxter.

By CHANTELLE BAXTER.

“I’ve been on the streets for two days. I’m desperate. I need $40 to pay for my school fees – can you help me?”

It was in that moment that a movement began. A movement that would spread across the globe and inspire thousands of people to wear a school dress, because they believe that every girl on the planet has the right to an education.

The little girl who started it all was called Brenda. I met her while travelling across East and West Africa. Brenda had been on the streets for two days – going door to door, asking for strangers for help to pay for her school fees. Her parents had passed away, and her grandmother was lucky to earn $2 a day – so this determined 14 year old girl took her future into her own hands.

In her time on the streets, she told us she’d been spat on, kicked and pushed out of the way – but she wasn’t giving up. She wanted an education more than anything else.

Brenda’s story is not unique.

66 million girls around the world are unable to go to school, simply because they’ve been born a girl.

We live in a world where 200 girls in Nigeria are kidnapped and tortured, simply because they wanted an education. Where little girls like Malala are shot in the head on their school bus for wanting to learn her ABC’s.

It’s insane to me that we live in a world where these kinds of things still happen. And we’re lucky enough to be living in a country where we have the ability to do something about it.

That’s why we created Do It In A Dress – a campaign to educate thousands of girls across Africa.

The idea is simple. You pick a challenge you can do in a girl’s school dress, and ask your friends and family to sponsor you to do it! Raising just $300 can help educate a girl for a year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brenda[1][1]
Brenda, the young girl who started it all.

When a girl is educated she’ll get married when she is ready and have a smaller, healthier family. For every year she stays in school her income increases by 10%. She’ll invest 90% of that money back into her family, and is more likely to educate her children as well. Education has an effect that ripples through generations.

There are 66 million girls around the world who aren’t in school. That’s 66 million potential solutions.

And now it’s time for us to act. It’s time for us to take a stand for what we believe in. To start a revolution that will change the world.

It’s a revolution that starts with a school dress. Why a school dress?

It’s a symbol of hope, of potential, of change. A school dress brings opportunity. A school dress means choices. A school dress means education.

We’ve seen 50 surfers hit Bondi beach in school uniforms and raise enough money to educate 60 girls. Yoga studios have held classes in school dresses, university students have held bake sales, schools hold casual dress days while the teachers come to school in a uniform. Girls, guys, men and women – young and not-so-young, everyone can do it. You just have to Do It In A Dress!

So in November, we’d love you to join us and wear a school dress. You can go to www.doitinadress.com and register. You can even buy a school dress from us if you’ve thrown out your old one!

We’re doing it for them. For the 200 school girls in Nigeria, for Malala, for Brenda.

Why? Because we can.

Chantelle Baxter is the Co-Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at non-profit organisation One Girl, the instigators of the Do It In A Dress campaign. One Girl is on a mission to educate 1 million girls across Africa by 2020. Find out more at: www.doitinadress.com | www.onegirl.org.au

00:00 / ???