No dressing up her generosity
WHILE some school kids may moan about their homework, Penrhos College Year 12 student Julia Beard is determined to make education accessible to those who may otherwise not have the privilege.
The 16-year-old student recently raised more than $3000 to help educate girls in Sierra Leone, enough to provide education to at least 10 girls.
The West African country was plagued by a civil war, which ran for 11 years and resulted in 1270 primary schools being destroyed in the resulting carnage, leaving more than two-thirds of all school-aged children without an education.
A significant rebuilding program went ahead when the war ended in 2002 but there is still a shortage of schools and teachers in the country, with twothirds of Sierra Leone’s adult population suffering from illiteracy.
Julia organised the local fundraiser with the help of Curtin University’s Outdoor Community Cinema over Easter screening the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, with all proceeds going to the cause.
She came up with the title of “One girl’s charity: do it in a dress program” encouraging others to become enthusiastic about promoting worldwide education for young women.
The ‘Do it in a dress’ website states that 66 million girls around the world are not in school, simply because they were born a girl.
Julia shares her fundraising interests with some big names, including Oprah Winfrey, who has raised more than $3 million for the cause.
“Midway last year I saw that only one in six girls is currently educated in Sierra Leone and I wanted to do something to change that statistic, because I know how important education can be in a developing country,” she said.
For now, Julia intends to continue her fundraising efforts in between her studies.
“One day I would love to move into politics or diplomacy and interact with the global community, particularly with third world countries, to see how I can help out,” she said.
To view Julia’s fundraising page, visit www.doitinadress.com/julia-beard.
Penrhos College Year 12 student Julia Beard is helping to educate children in West Africa.