A burning passion

IMAGINE doing your homework or studying for exams in a two-room home shared with half a dozen or more siblings.

You probably had no lunch and there’s no snacks or cups of tea to keep you going, no computer as there’s no electricity, and the kerosene lamp you’re studying by makes your eyes sting.

Just getting to school in Uganda and Sierra Leone is a challenge, often involving a two-hour walk each way.

And a girl is more likely to be sexually assaulted than attend high school.

“Even making it to the final years of high school is an achievement. If you’re a girl it’s a miracle,” says Louise Garland from Empowering Chicks.

“This is the reality for every single one of our scholarship girls.”

• Kate Lefroy, Louise Garland and Priscilla Hogan are the inspiring women behind Empowering Chicks. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

Based in Kardinya, EC is a group of friends selling soy wax scented candles to raise money to send young women in Uganda and Sierra Leone to school.

Garland came up with the idea two years ago, enlisting the help of friends Kate Lefroy and Priscilla Hogan.

“We started pouring candles in the kitchen”, Lefroy says.

But now demand is so high the pouring is outsourced and the finished candles delivered to Garland’s home, where they are packaged and shipped to stockists, or mailed out. Just $25 a month covers a year at school, including school uniform, shoes, school bag, text books, stationery and even sanitary pads. All of EC profits go to the not-for-profit organisation One Girl, which distributes the scholarships. Head to https://empoweringchicks.com

by JENNY D’ANGER

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