1$dayBy Georgia Swanborough | Jul 10, 12 04:11 PM
One dollar can make a big difference with a bit of girl power behind it
Sophie Bartho, co-founder and CEO of 1$Day, was motivated into action by the ‘luck’ of her three children and the staggering contrast that every year 67 million primary aged children don’t go to school. Add to that the 6.7 million children who die from preventable diseases.
“While my children have the good fortune of attending a local primary school and access to a local GP and hospital, the reality that life is not so easy for millions of other children is profound,” says Sophie.
With this in mind, and her personal observations that traditional fundraising relies heavily on selling merchandise and expensive tickets, she set out to develop a new model to support existing charities doing measurable and demonstrable work to reduce the global inequities in children’s health and education.
The concept of One Dollar Day was realised while brainstorming with her husband Robert. The next few years they rallied support for the idea and in 2011 held the first 1$day.
Business Chicks around Australia got involved and 1$day raised over $55,500 which was dedicated to Save the Children and their inspiring work in rural Laos. The money was used to build a village health clinic and provide access to health care for thousands of children who would otherwise go without.
“The World Health Organisation’s definition of access to a health facility is within 5km or a one hour walk. That in itself is hard for us to believe. Everyone’s dollars in 2011 has made access to health a reality for 11,750 local villagers including 5,000 children,” says Sophie.
The clinic is situated in Phonesaart Village, in the Phieng District of Laos. On the opening day, six trained health workers treated 104 patients - mainly mothers and children. One of the patients of the clinic, 26-year-old Mrs Phone, is seven months pregnant and has benefitted from the antennal services the clinic provides. She now plans to deliver her baby in the health clinic.
Seven month old baby Sukdar is another one of the patients of the Laos health clinic. Sudkar, with her mother Damone, and older brother, took the four kilometre journey by a tak-tak tractor in order to receive immunisations from the health clinic.
1$Day is to be held on July 25 and Sophie hopes the outcome to be even bigger than last year: “We have bigger and bolder hopes about reaching more and more people and their spare dollars.”
This year’s 1$day collections are committed to providing water and sanitation to 38 schools throughout Ethiopia, as well as a school support program for Aboriginal students in Australia. Both projects have significant additional health benefits for the children and their communities, which ensures the impact of your donation is far reaching.
Get involved in this year’s 1$day on July 25 - it can be as simple as donating your dollar, or collecting $1 from your colleagues and friends, just go to www.onedollarday.org and spread the word again. Let’s see how much girl power we can muster in 2012 and collectively improve the lives of children less fortunate than ourselves.