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The #PassTheBag Campaign Lets You Clean Out Your Closet For Girls' Education
By Gretchen Gales
*Editor's Note: First appeared on The Odyssey May 31st, 2016.
There comes a time (or a couple times a year) when a girl looks at her disheveled closet and wants to thin it out. Typical remedies include donating clothes to Goodwill, desperately trying to get Plato’s Closet or other similar recycled style stores to buy your old clothes, etc. I seem to always have extra clothes lying around and usually go about getting rid of them in the ways mentioned previously. I also know that feeling of being unsure whether I want to part with different articles of clothing or go to donate something and think, But what if--without fail. Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation to just ditch old clothes and embrace a less cluttered life for at least a little while.
Side note—I want to be a teacher, so I’m a little obsessed with encouraging helping school or education-related programs. I also adore the work that Malala Yousafzai and the Malala Fund does to fight for the right to a girl’s education. Don’t know who Malala is? She’d the girl that was shot by the Taliban at 14 just for advocating girls’ right to an education. At 17 she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work. Her movement has swept the world and she has since launched many campaigns to raise awareness and funds to help send girls to school, including those displaced by the Syrian Refugee crisis. Her documentary He Named Me Malala also launched recently. Needless to say, she’s amazing.
Many people are inspired by Malala’s message and want to help. So when I saw the “Pass the Bag” campaign, I knew it would be something really cool. Malala, Students Stand #WithMalala, and a San Francisco-based donation program called Schoola have all come together to support the Malala Fund by having people like you donate your old clothes. This is how it works: you can request a bag with the postage prepaid to be sent to your home. Stuff the bag with your old clothes and put it in the mail. From there, Schoola and the Malala Fund ensure girls are given a chance at 12 years of education. Right now they’re accepting girls’ clothes and women’s clothes. If you have a younger sibling or cousin, they also take baby and kids’ clothes. Schoola sells the clothes on their site for discounted prices and 40% of the profits go towards the Malala Fund. After filling your bag and sending it back in the mail, it’s encouraged that you challenge 3 of your friends to do the same.
Still hesitant? To put it in perspective, according to Malala’s site backed with official UNESCO statistics, many girls all over the world only complete 3 years or less of education due to poverty, violent resistance of women in schools, child marriage, having to work to support their families, and cost. Over 60 million girls are out of school “due to pressure to drop out of school, even after [completing] primary education.” Malala asserts that education is a fundamental human right, and a good way to start is cleaning out your closet.
#Real #CurrentEvents #GirlsEducation #MalalaYousafzai #MalalaFund #Schoola
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