And anxious, excited children around the world have once again boarded those busses to embark on a new school year adventure.
Surrounded by fresh textbooks and new first day of school outfits, it is often difficult to think of the 121 million children around the world who will not be ringing in the new school year.
Will Hill, however, has “Got their Back.”
As the Executive Director of Got Your Back Movement, Will is equipped with two vital items to assist these children in attending school and ultimately succeeding in becoming educated members of society:
hope and uniforms.
Working with local tailors, when possible, Got Your Back is providing an unprecedented number of uniforms to children all over the world (bypassing a major educational expense). Will believes that the “key to breaking the poverty cycle” is education and empowerment.
While there are multiple ways to lend aid to the devastating numbers of children not attending school this year, Will and Got Your Back have started a movement aimed at eliminating the educational costs of buying school uniforms.
Got Your Back’s Shirt for Shirt campaign is simple.
See the shirt above?
To complete its mission, all you have to do is “wear this shirt all the time (wash, rinse, repeat).” In purchasing the tee, one school uniform was given to a child, who now has a shot at obtaining an education.
After all, education is the foundation of Got Your Back’s motto: "Restore Purpose. Give Hope. Show Love.” Such an idealistic mantra, however, is often found in the most unexpected places.
While each of the 1,200 uniforms that accompanied Will in a post-earthquake trip to Haiti has a unique story, one uniform left an indelible mark in Will’s mind. It belonged to a “young boy who had lost both of his parents, had broken his femur and had to have his arm amputated due to the quake.” For all he had been through, this child’s appreciation and smile “was one of the truest representations of genuine joy I have ever witnessed.”
From one individual to whole communities, Got Your Back is hoping to have a lasting impact around the world. With a strong focus on female education in Lwala, Kenya, in 2011, Got Your Back is expanding their programming and uniform delivery in partnership with the launch of a micro-financed sewing program. Such models form the base of a sustainable movement that repurposes one t-shirt for one uniform.
Suit up- uniforms are in.
Thanks Will, for educating us about the power of a uniform.
Please visit gybmovement.org for more information.
(Got Your Back Movement provides uniforms for schoolchildren around the world.)