by CHANTELLE BAXTER
Poke your head in any club house at the end-of-footy-season booze-up and you’ll be sure to see it: blokes in dresses.
Dressing up is funny. The fact that a girl born in Sierra Leone is more likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to attend high school: not funny at all.
And that’s what Do It In A Dress is all about: helping the world’s poorest women and girls by wearing a school dress.
I have seen first hand that when a girl is educated, everything changes. She’ll marry later, have a smaller, healthier family and for every year that she stays in school she’ll increase her income by 10% and invest 90% of that back into her family.
Four years ago, I got tired of living a life that revolved around mind-numbing work, drinking, shopping and parties. So I packed my bags and jumped on a plane to volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa. During my travels, I met a young girl called Brenda. Brenda had spent two days wandering the streets, asking strangers for donations to pay her school fees. During her days on the streets, she’d been spat on, kicked and abused. After offering Brenda $40 to go to school I thought to myself, Is this all that is needed to change a girl’s life?
When I got back to Australia, I knew I couldn’t go back to my old way of living. So, together with David Dixon, we co-founded the charity One Girl. Our focus is to provide life’s most basic rights to the world’s poorest women and girls: education and employment.
To fund the work we do, we’re gearing up for a fundraising campaign with a difference: Do It In A Dress.This October more than 1000 people from all over the world will wear a school dress so that girls in Sierra Leone can wear one too.
Already, we’ve seen participants striking yoga poses in school dresses and others going out to dinner in school dresses -iIt’s easy to do and a whole lot of laughs. You can register as an individual or a team. So rally your co-workers, your friends or your netball team and think of a challenge you want to do in a school dress. What would people pay money to see you do in a dress?