10 Years of Do It In A Dress: Looking back and Moving Forward

08 Sep 2021

This year, as Do It In A Dress turns 10, we’re reflecting on the dress as a symbol of girls’ education and looking at what lies ahead…

First up, a MASSIVE thank you to the amazing One Girl community for sticking by us and doing all the things, in a dress, to raise money for our  girls’ education and vocational training programs in Sierra Leone and Uganda. To date, 15,000+ legends from 20 countries have skydived, surfed, skied, ran, hiked, shopped, worked, done yoga, held lessons/meetings etc. in a school dress and raised over $4.4 million dollars. Take a bow!

do it in a dress 2021 girls education charity fundraiser

Your support has meant that over the past 10 years, One Girl could reach 38,000+ girls and young women with school support, vocational and life skills training; engage almost 3,500 community members across 86 communities to support girls to stay in school, and trained 68 mentors and teachers to be role models for girls and young women. This has been our - yours and our - biggest success. We hope you’re feeling as proud as we are!

YOU are part of the One Girl community and we thank you. You know that education is a human right, and that education can transform lives and shape futures. You know that when you educate a girl - everything changes. You want to make a difference, and are seeking opportunities to do that.

We see you, we salute you.

Why a dress though?

Ten years of impact also bring with them ten years of learnings, reflections, milestones and ah-ha moments. Over the years, we’ve been asked the same question in many ways - why a school dress? Isn’t that sexist? A dress is not very inclusive, is it? Aren’t the cultural connotations of a school dress problematic?

And to this we say, yes, but it is also a symbol that reminds us that girls in some parts of the world don’t have it easy...

“The dress is a symbol that reminds us that over 132 million girls around the world today do not have the opportunity to wear a school uniform and go to school,” says Dr Chrisanta Muli, CEO of One Girl.

“The dress is a symbol that it is a privilege to have access to a school uniform and to an education for many girls around the world.”

“At One Girl, the dress is a constant reminder that more must be done to ensure that ALL girls around the world have the same opportunities that boys have to go to school, it is right and not a privilege!”  

And it has always been about choice to wear the dress - the One Girl fundraising community chooses to put on the infamous checkered school dress and adopt it as a symbol of girls’ education. We thank you for stepping up all these years, but we acknowledge that there’s much more to be done to make the DIIAD campaign as inclusive and representative of our wonderful, diverse, powerful community as possible. And we can promise you this, we are working on it!

For example, we’re working with student researchers from Monash University to get a sense of what makes you tick. So when you see a survey from us come your way, please hit us with your best ideas & thoughts!

“DIIAD will look very different next year,” shares Chrisanta, “This year, we are celebrating 10 years of impact. We are also calling on our amazing community to continue to support girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda.”

“With only 29% of girls in Sierra Leone set to finish high school in a year, we know there is so much more to be done and we need your help to do it. If you’ve never participated in Do It In A Dress before - this is your chance!” 

Future focussed

One Girl has come a long way but there's still lots more to be done. There are currently 132 million girls out of school around the world and this is not OK with us.  We will not stop until girls have equal access to quality education and the world is moving towards gender just climate solutions. 

This year, Do It In A Dress is about celebrating 10 years of impact, raising awareness of issues faced by girls & young women in the communities we work with, raising vital funds to ensure learning doesn’t stop during the pandemic and engaging our fabulous supporter community in One Girl's strategic direction for the next 10 years. Onwards and upwards!


• 132 million girls around the world are denied an education simply because they were born a girl. 11 million girls may not return to school because of school closures and disruptions from the Covid-19 pandemic
• Sierra Leone and Uganda are two 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
• In Sierra Leone, 21% of girls aged 15 to 19 have begun childbearing
• 39% of girls are married before their 18th birthday and 13% are married before their 15th birthday.


• For every year a girl stays in school, her income will increase by 10-25% and her country's climate crisis resilience goes up by 3.2%
• An educated woman’s children are 50% more likely to live past the age of five and highly likely to be educated 
• 10% fewer adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa would fall pregnant if they could complete primary school.

About Do It In A Dress

Do It In A Dress is a global fundraising campaign for people who are passionate about supporting girls' education to raise money for One Girl's programs in Sierra Leone and Uganda. People from around the nation and the world choose to put on a school dress to raise money for One Girl's education support and vocational training programs in Sierra Leone and Uganda. 

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