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Local not-for-profit, One Girl asks Australians to put on a school dress to raise money for the millions of girls denied an education.

September 2018 // Now in its seventh year, One Girl’s annual Do It In A Dress campaign has launched with an aim to raise over $800,000 to educate girls in two of the most challenging places in the world to be born a girl; Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Do It In A Dress asks Australians to sign up and get creative - do anything in a school dress and raise funds for girls’ education. With more than 1,800 participants last year alone, Australians have been instrumental in providing a solution to this global issue; they have hiked, pulled stunts, snowboarded, surfed, cycled and even gone to work in a dress.

One Girl CEO, Sarah Ireland, explains that when you support girls with big dreams, they become women with vision. “Every $300 raised is enough to send a girl to school for an entire year, providing them with everything they need from books, a school bag, school fees, shoes and school uniform. When girls have access to education, they can create change, not just for themselves, but for their families and entire community,” says Sarah.

“The impact of sending just one girl to school is undeniable. She will marry later, have a smaller, healthier family and, for every year a girl stays in school, she’ll increase her income by at least 10%, investing 90% of it back into her family. This is why education is at the core of everything we do.”

Right now, there are more than 130 million girls around the world who are denied an education. In Sierra Leone, only 16% of girls complete high school and almost half of female youth are illiterate.

“Through education, we have the power to change this – because when you educate a girl, she can change her world,” Sarah continues.

Since launching Do It In A Dress 2018 on August 15th, the campaign has already raised over $125,000, which is enough to educate 420 girls. For example, when Mariatu from Sierra Leone’s mother died and her father moved away, it meant she couldn’t go to school in her rural community. Since becoming a One Girl scholar, she is now able to continue her education.

“I didn’t go to school for four years and I felt very bad. The first day I put on my uniform I was very happy. I was thinking that if my mother was still alive and could see me, she’d be proud,” says Mariatu. Since 2009, funds raised from Do It In A Dress have drastically changed thousands of lives, with One Girl supporting 431 girls with scholarships. Additionally, over 1,119 students have benefitted from One Girl’s rebuilt schools and toilet facilities, more than 13,000 women and girls have been educated in menstrual hygiene management and water, sanitation and hygiene and almost 11,000 young women have undergone business and entrepreneurial training.

One Girl was also instrumental in providing over 14,000 people — boys and girls — with vital Ebola education following the deadly outbreak in 2014 and 2015.

“Every single Australian has the opportunity to change lives. Whether it’s taking on something epic like climbing Mt Kosciuszko, or something as simple as wearing your school dress to work, signing up to Do It In A Dress will mean you can transform a girl’s life and the lives of all her family members.”

“We hope Australians will join us, as an individual or in a group, because together we’re going to change the world, one girl (and one dress) at a time,” adds Sarah.

One Girl is calling on all Australians to stand up for every girl’s right to an education.

Join the movement and sign up via


• Over 130 million girls around the world are denied an education simply because they were born a girl.
• 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.
• Worldwide, 14 million girls under the age of 18 will be forced into marriage this year. That’s 38,000 today or 13 girls in the last 30 seconds.
• In sub-saharan Africa only 1 in 5 girls will make it to high school.
• A girl born in Sierra Leone is more likely to be sexually assaulted than she is to attend high school.


• For every year a girl stays in school, her income will increase by 10-25%
• An educated woman’s children are 50% more likely to live past the age of five.
• An educated girl will marry when she’s ready and have a smaller, healthier family.
• For every dollar she earns, she will invest 90% of it back into her family.

For more more information or to request an interview, contact One Girl Communications Director, Méabh Friel on 03 9913 4818 or at

About One Girl:
One Girl is an Australian not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting girls without access to education in two of the worst places in the world to be born a girl: Uganda and Sierra Leone. One Girl raises funds and awareness through national campaigns like Do It In A Dress to provide thousands of girls and young women with access to education.

Since 2009, One Girl has worked with well-established local organisations to reach more than 32,000 women and girls with access to high-quality education programs.

About Do It In A Dress
Do It In A Dress is an annual fundraising campaign organised by Australian not-for-profit, One Girl.

Do It In A Dress is about putting on a school dress, having some fun, and standing up for every girl’s right to an education. Through this campaign, participants raise money to support One Girl’s education programs in Sierra Leone and Uganda. To date, Do It In A Dress has successfully raised over $2.8 million dollars, which has helped changed the lives of girls across Sierra Leone and Uganda.