Asha Kayla

Do It In A Dress 2019

Hope in 3 generations

It seems an unlikely coupling, girls’ education and climate change solutions, but the Drawdown project showed that educating girls is one of the most powerful levers available for avoiding damaging climate emissions. There are many, many, reasons for this, so I’d like to share a my family story about how three generations of girls’ education had transformational effects for us, our families and communities – and why educating girls and empowering women is the No.1 solution to climate change.


My grandma Sito, was illiterate most of her life, as poor girls didn’t go to school in India in the 1930s. She was betrothed at 11 and married by the age of 14, and would go on to have eight children. Migrating to England, she couldn’t read or write her mother tongue of Punjabi or English.

She only learned to read and write at 60 years old, when she took herself off to night school to learn to read because — as a born-again Christian — she wanted to read the bible. Sito’s education empowered her, and at 65 she built a church in her village Khotran in North India. She founded a place where Indian Christians and all sectors of the community could come together, regardless of age, sex, faith, sexual orientation or colour. The church recently celebrated its 15th  anniversary, employs five people, and welcomes a congregation of more than 100 people from other villages every week. Masihi Khotran Church is beacon of peace and community.

So, you see, educating girls is essential for strong communities. 



My mother Surrinder worked as a seamstress in the UK in 1970s. She did get to go to school, and as a young lady hoped to go to college and learn to design. She knew that if she did, she could earn more money to support her family. She was refused the chance to go to night college because women didn’t go out at night, she would be getting married soon, and she would get a husband who would be ‘educated for her’.

After divorcing some years later, she decided to put herself through night college, get her design qualifications, form two fashion businesses and employed 15 other women. These women were her neighbours, her family, her friends, and their friends. Her education had a ripple effect.

She reinvested her new-found success and wealth in her family and the community and it benefited everyone.

Educating girls is needed for economic prosperity.  



Me, Asha. I’m privileged. I have a string of qualifications and degrees. If I want to learn, I can – there are no barriers. After all, I have access to money, a computer at my fingertips and no one telling me ‘No’. My mother broke the cycle of poverty we might otherwise have been trapped in and it was drummed into me from an early age that getting an education was one of the most important things I must do in life.

Listening to the keynote speech by Paul Hawken at the Purpose Conference in February 2018, he presented the most comprehensive plan to address climate change, DRAWDOWN.

“We’ve done the Math” he said, “and the results surprised us. Empowering women and girls holds the key to unlocking climate solutions”.

I work in sustainability, and for years I have helped to engage businesses and communities to take action on climate change. Yet all along the most powerful solution was staring me in the face. It had played out in my family history, and subsequently in the amazing start I was given in life.

DRAWDOWN has proven that a combination of educating girls and family planning, which together could reduce 120 gigatons of CO2-equivalent by 2050, is the Number 1 solution to curbing climate emissions. Where one ends the other takes off, so it is almost impossible to split the two solutions.

The solution isn’t a solar panel, it’s educating women and girls so they become empowered to choose what happens with their own bodies and their own futures. The other solutions are all still very much needed and important to change our unsustainable trajectory, we need all of them, and we need them now.


So why can this unlock such potential? These simple facts from the One Girl website show us how:

  • Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to educate their children.
  • An educated girl is less likely to marry early and have fewer children, reducing population growth.
  • A girl’s income will increase 10–15% for every year she is in school, increasing upward mobility.
  • A woman will invest 90% of her income into her family and subsequently her community.

After three generations, things changed exponentially for my family, but they still haven’t changed for 130 million girls around the world that are not able to go to or stay in school.

I hold onto the hope that another generation of girls won’t miss out on education.

130 million girls in school = 130 million solutions to climate change.

I call this ‘Hopeful Maths’.


This article was originally published on the OneGirl Blog. OneGirl believes that every girl on the planet deserves the right to an education. Check out their international programs to educate and empower girls around the globe.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not about educating girls over boys. Education is universal human right for all. The point is to imagine the possibility if we didn’t have gender discrimination and girls had the same opportunities as boys when it comes to schooling and education. No one prospers if half the world is held back. No one prospers if 130 million girls are still held back.


I'm Doing It In A Dress because...

... 130 million girls around the world are out of school. Educating girls not only changes the lives of those girls, but also their families, communities and countries. Not only that, but getting more girls in school will have a positive impact on climate change! (See Project DRAWDOWN for the explanation). A win-win-win.

I'm wearing a school dress to work for one week (8th-12th Oct) to raise awareness and raise funds for girls' education. Because when I put on a dress, I'll be helping girls in low income countries put on a school dress and take charge of their futures. 

I wear a school dress for those who cant. 

Help me change the world OneGirl at a time. 

My Achievements

Reached 100% of your fundraising target! A+ effort!

Joined Do It In A Dress 2019 ... and we're off!

Raised $40!? Enough for five reusable pad kits!

Hit $100! Enough for life skills training for six months!

Raised $300 – that's enough for school for one year!

Raised $500 ... you are absolutely smashing it!

Shared on facebook!

Thanked my donors :)

Thank you to my Sponsors


Matched By Our All-round Legendary Anonymous Donor

Here's your matched donation! Yay!






The Same Family

Here's your matched donation!


Pablo Garcia

You're a legend Asha!



Great work babe.💖


Caroline Atkinson

Great initiative especially for raising awareness


Ale Torres

Awesome initiative Asha!!!!


Monica Ramesh

Great work Asha! This contribution is on behalf of my mother Saroj Monga who passed away last year in Aug 2018. She would be really happy with this initiative.


Meredith Epp

Go Asha!


Paul Crossley


Ajaya Haikerwal


Genevieve Daneel


Hiten Padhiar



Nell Macdonald

Well done asha!


Jean Bailliard



Thank you for sharing your family's story. It's inspiring and brings to life the importance of education. Sorry I didn't see you in your dress! Alex x


Sean Trewick

Good on you! Here is $5 per day for your dedication to this very important cause. We need female leadership for the 21st century!




Nik Saltman

Go girl! And go girls!


Jonathan Luey

Great to meet you today, committing to a summer uniform on a chilly day, that is sacrifice.


Simone Awramenko

Great job Asha!. I really believe this is the most important thing we can do.


Danling Xiao

Full heartedly support goes to you and One Girl! Xx Danling



Nice one Asha! Happy to support this fantastic cause.


Chantelle Leenstra

Awesome work Asha!



Hi Asha, awesome raising awareness as well as making a difference for girls through One Girl! Love it. Dimity


Nisha Patel

What a fabulous cause.. Well done are doing some fabulous work x


Wahida Patel

Good luck Asha - such a great cause!! Xx


Laura Mcmanus


Guy Brent

Congratulations Asha on putting yourself out there and raising money for such a worthwhile cause. I loved reading about the positive impact you are helping create !


Ranjit Voola


Alison Johnston

Inspirational work Asha. I love your passion for this cause x


Andrew Marks


Arianne Ritz

This is awesome :)


Jacquie Fegent-mcgeachie

Great initiative. Good on you!!


Mark Barthel

Well done Asha. Inspiring stories and family history = impact! What a great cause!


Matched By Our All-round Legendary Anonymous Donor

Here's your matched donation! Yay!


Sonja Duncan, Sd Strategies

Love your work Asha!


Matched By Our All-round Legendary Anonymous Donor

Here's your matched donation! Yay!


Muneesh Wadhwa

Inspiring Asha and hope in the world!! Good on you.! M


Esther Titchen

Loving the updates! Fantastic Asha well done


Dylan Lamb

Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday Asha! Great work


Ashrina Parmar

Go Asha. So great to see you continue to have passion for such great causes and raise global awareness of education for girls and young women.



Now that’s what I call a conversation starter ! But seriously well done 👍🏼


Phil Jackson

Asha you are a leader and an inspiration! Thanks for showing us what it means to work hard and get stuff done in this world. I loved the climactic podcast - awesome! See you again soon, I hope.


Shaun Burton

Great work Asha


Sue Henry-edwards


Paul Klymenko

Thanks Asha for letting me know about this important initiative. Your family story is a powerful illustration.


Anthony Peyton

Thanks for your commitment Asha to helping to educate girls in Africa


Georgia Sheil

Proud of you! Big statement, don’t forget those work place selfies. G xx


Afra Abdeen


Hitesh Parmar

Hey what about a 27 mile run or something😁great cause raised alot of money Hope you guys are well. Take care Hits




Kate Clugston

Both your grandmother and mum's stories are so inspiring!!


Kayla Rees Banga

Blessings Service is duty given in love I hope you soar X


Banso Kang

Asha youre doing a great job. Keep up the good work and the team spirit. Truly education is vital. One girl is a great start to change a girl's life.


Tina Bart

Looking good in that dress x


Neelam Kumar

Good luck!



Great cause. Glad your making an impact!


Alice Howard-vyse

What an incredible story that sits behind your action. Love your work lady! Xx


Andy Bakonyi

You go, girl!


Peter Hathaway


Olivia Leal-walker

Let's do it for the girls!



Go you good woman!!! : -)


Richard Griffiths


Sukhy Hogwood

Well Done Asha, My daughters are very lucky girls, I can't imagine life if they couldn't get an education - so this is a cause I can truly get behind



You go girl! X


Kimberley Kayla

Go girl.




Uncle Pal

You need to raise your target



Awesome Ash! Such a worthy cause. I look forward to seeing the photos. X 😊


Ryan Williams


Herj Kaur

Great cause Ash! Well done x


Surrinder Kayla

Keep up the good work. Xx


Alpa Patel

Go girl


Sherona Parkinson


Julie Kaler

Best of luck! X




Susie Bayes

Love it lady! Let's have a meeting in schooldress week! xx


Laura Reed

Great work Asha, they're one of our supported partners at Seventh Street!


Blaise Porter

Best of luck fundraising for this amazing cause!

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