Last year talented twins Val and Vess celebrated their birthdays with a twist, some surprises, and a beautiful way of giving back through their celebration. It can be pretty tricky to hide a birthday party from your sister - especially when she’s your twin! But after 23 years of shared birthday celebrations, Val decided it was time for something different - and set out to organise a gorgeous surprise 24th party for sister Vess. These sisters are super creative - Val is a photographer and Vess is an illustrator and graphic designer - so this party was always going to be a very stylish event. But more than just being beautiful, it was also very special because Val decided she and Vess would give up their presents and ask everyone to donate to One Girl instead, in order to help educate girls! “Presents are easy to give up when you realise that we live in so much abundance,” Vess told us. This is the second time the twins have given up their birthday for a good cause; the first time was for their 18th birthday. But Val feels it’s becoming more of a trend, as people are becoming more conscious of having ‘too much stuff’ - and would rather celebrate with friends and family by supporting a cause close to their heart. For the twins that cause is girls’ education.
“We’ve both been passionate about girls’ education since watching the amazing film Girl Rising - a movie that follows the journey of nine young girls and illustrates the importance educating girls plays in breaking the poverty cycle,” Val said.They learned about One Girl’s work a couple of years ago when the wonderfully talented Vess created illustrations and art pieces for an art exhibition that was raising money for One Girl. Val decided to keep that theme going by selling pieces of Vess’ gorgeous artwork at the party.
“A lot of our friends are socially conscious and loved the idea that they could donate to a cause as well as take home a piece of art. I hope it inspired a few of them to do the same for their birthdays!”Through their birthdays, Val and Vess’ circle of friends raised almost $600, which is the average cost of sending two girls in Sierra Leone to school for an entire year! We couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate these two talented sisters with two very big hearts. If you’re looking for a meaningful way to celebrate your birthday this year, why not pledge your birthday through I Don’t Want A Present? Ask your friends and family to make a donation to educate girls, rather than buy you a present - and make your next birthday a life-changing event, for a girl in Africa! Learn more and pledge your birthday today at: www.onegirl.org.au/idontwantapresent [button open_new_tab="true" color="extra-color-2" hover_text_color_override="#fff" size="large" url="www.onegirl.org.au/idontwantapresent" text="PLEDGE YOUR BIRTHDAY TODAY" color_override=""] -- Photo credits: Ernest Lew