This International Women’s Day is about how collectively, each of us can help create a gender-equal world. This is why we want to highlight an amazing social enterprise that we’re proud to partner with, Brides do Good. #EachforEqual
Everyone should have a right to an education, and no one should be forced into marrying against their will. Sadly this isn’t the case for so many. Every year, 12 million girls become child brides, even here in the UK. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target is to eliminate child marriage by 2030, and no region is on course. But there is still time to change this. Sassi Holford supports Brides do Good, an incredible social enterprise who are working to end child marriage and empower young, vulnerable girls. Read on to find out more about their incredible cause and how you can help.
Chantal Khoueiry founded Brides do Good in 2016
“As a child of international background, born in Kuwait to a Lebanese father and an Ethiopian mother, I am no stranger to the issues many societies face and have always been a humanitarian at heart. At my core, is the simple belief that every child has the right to a childhood, to choose their own path.
Over the years I have watched many friends marry, and then consign their beautiful once-worn dresses to dusty attics. For a few short hours, these dresses were beautiful symbols of love and the power to choose who to spend your life with. Yet millions of girls today remain unable to make their choice.
I have always believed in the importance of making a truly positive contribution to the world and the people in it. This is why Brides do Good is so important to me. It’s a movement: by women, for girls.”
How does it work
Brides do Good is a unique social enterprise. By partnering with designer brands and designers as well as real brides, they curate a unique collection of new, sample and pre-loved dresses for ethically-minded women. They offer the opportunity to purchase a dream dress with the power to do good.
Proceeds from the purchase of Brides do Good wedding gowns are invested in international charity programmes aimed at empowering vulnerable women and girls. It ensures they have access to the support and education they need to choose a future of their own.
Every year, 12 million girls become child brides; defined as marriage or union before age 18. Child marriage affects 650 million girls and young women worldwide. In countries where this is most prevalent, reports suggest up to 76% of women aged 20–24 are married early.
Addressing child marriage is imperative. Linked to heightened risks for HIV, female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), adolescent births, malnutrition and maternal death, child marriage is also a significant barrier to girls’ access to education. Save the Children estimates that 51 million child marriages could be averted by 2030 if all girls can complete secondary school.
Currently, no region in the world is on track to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target to eliminate child marriage by 2030. If we do not accelerate our efforts, 150 million additional girls will marry by 2020.
How brides do good are helping
To help tackle this global issue, Brides do Good works with international non-profit humanitarian organisations that underpin their charitable ethos: ensuring sustainable change where there is the greatest need.
Funds raised by the Brides do Good community make a transformative difference to the rights of girls around the world. To date, they have raised over £60,000 for projects across Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Yemen. Positively impacting almost 70,000 people.
Currently, they are focused on funding a project in Ethiopia; alongside Plan International UK, which protects children displaced by the civil war in South Sudan. Routinely, rates of child marriage increase during times of humanitarian crises. As economic pressure on families increases exponentially, and girls are considered a greater financial burden than ever before.
The project aims to reach 30,000 children aged 3- 14, both refugees and those from host communities. By boosting education for both newcomers and local children, it will keep the most vulnerable safe, and give them back the chance to learn.
Why should brides consider donating their wedding dresses?
By partnering, Brides do Good, and Sassi Holford are asking women to make a choice. Choose to do good with your wedding dress, and donate it to Brides do Good.
This one choice can have a significant impact on the lives of disadvantaged women. Every £100 raised by the Brides do Good community can give seven children in refugee camps all the educational materials they need to learn for a year. For every £1,000 raised, this is enough to train four teachers in camp schools on quality teaching for vulnerable children.
Just one wedding dress has the power to do enormous good. For each step down the aisle, we can take one more step towards a fairer, more sustainable world.