Through my 33 years of life I have spent almost one years worth of time visiting Africa. Every time I visit, I fall in love a little more. I fall in love more as I learn more about the countries, the culture and the people, but along with this I learn so much more about myself and my life. I learn to be more caring and giving, I learn gratitude for the comfort of my life, I learn to appreciate my health and access to healthcare, I appreciate being born to a world where education is available to everyone and the freedom to build my own life is down to my decisions. Each time I visit Africa, I return wanting to do more to help the incredible people that live there and unfortunately have less opportunity than me. Education is key to improving the lives of people living in poverty. I have chosen to raise money for a charity that supports girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone to gain education.
One Girl is a small charity with a big goal. Their goal is to educate one million girls in Uganda and Sierra Leone They believe that if you educate a girl, you change everything. An educated mother is more likely to educate her children, she will earn more money than if uneducated and she will invest more of her income back into her family. Seems like a win-win situation to me. Unfortunately, the majority of girls in Sierra Leone will never go to high school and less 25% of girls in Uganda finish primary school. One Girl wants to make a difference and I want to help them. I had an education, I had loving parents, and I had a childhood. Why shouldn't everyone.
Every year One Girl runs a campaign called 'Do It In a Dress'. This year I will be taking part. During my ElliptigOz adventure I will be riding through towns wearing a school dress. Hopefully this will catch peoples attention and therefore spread the word about the work of the charity and my project. I will be carrying an extra dress with me too, so if you or someone you know, wants to join in and ride your bike beside me then there is a spare dress available.
Here is a short film that illustrates the effect that educating girls in poverty can have.