Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why I've Partnered With This Non-Profit

When I decided to start my own company, designing innovative, creative and sometimes quirky products, I knew I wanted a percentage of my profits to go to a non-profit. I have long believed in giving back, whether it’s volunteering during a tragic event (like Hurricane Sandy) or teaching English as a second language. (In fact, I volunteered as an hospital aide all through high school.) Whatever organization I chose, it would have to be in keeping with my sensibilities. And then I stumbled upon She’s The First and immediately knew that this was the non-profit I wanted to partner up with. I’m a former educator, having taught biology on all grade levels, from fifth grade to graduate school. And I’m also all about working with women, including mentoring seniors at Barnard College, where I graduated. All of this made She’s the First perfect because tey sponsor girls’ education (on the primary and secondary school level) in 11 low-income countries all around the world, including Nepal, Guatemala and Sierra Leone. But the girls are not simply given a stipend and sent on their way. Instead, they are supported and mentored the entire way so that they can become leaders within their communities. After all, it’s well known that having girls and women that are well educated not only positively impacts the economy of the country but it slows the spread of disease, reduces maternal mortality rates, results in women delaying marriage and childbirth, allows women to better resist domestic violence, and overall breaks the cycle of poverty. Yes, an educated female populace means a world transformed for the better. Are these enough reasons to understand why I partnered with She’s The First? Yes!

Ten percent of yearly net profits from the sale of my innovative micro travel bag, multi-pocket vest, quirky plush Angry JCreature dolly, and all my other products goes to She’s The First. It’s hard to find a more worthy cause. And check out some of the enthusiastic scholars below. 

She's the First Scholars Mariama Y. K. and Afisatu pose near their homes in Sierra Leone.
(photo by Kate Lord)

She's the First Scholar Ramatulai poses at her mother's home in Sierra Leone.
(photo by Kate Lord)

She's the First Scholars Haja B., Theressa, Hawanatu, and Mafereh play on the beach in Sierra Leone. (photo by Kate Lord)

She's the First Scholar Jelikatu C. poses in her classroom in Sierra Leone.
(photo by Kate Lord)

She's the First Scholar Haja C. participates in a girls' group meeting.
(photo by Kate Lord)

Yeanoh, a She's the First Scholar in Sierra Leone, walks home from school
. (photo by Kate Lord)