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Mary Frank Ralls' Fundraiser:

The 2016 Sew Powerful Purse Campaign - Creating Academic Success For Girls in Zambia -

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Mary Frank Ralls



Thanks for considering our campaign. Here's more about it...

The Problem: In Lusaka's poorest areas the common cultural practice is to stay home from school when you're on your time of the month. This is because there is no access to feminine hygiene supplies. We can solve this problem if we all work together!

The poorest girls - that need to excel academically to escape poverty are dramatically hindered by this problem - on average missing 6 weeks of school each year. And if they don't pass their 7th Grade Exam, then they are unable to enter Secondary School (what we call High School) and their academic career is over. We have documented a 10% gap between girls and boys passing the 7th Grade Exams - so this issue has real-world impacts if not addressed. This is a root cause of poverty - and we can combat it together. Here are some startling facts:

-- According To The U.N. If All Women Had Secondary Education Child Deaths Would Be Reduced By Half.

-- Girls With Secondary Education (High School) Have 3.9 Births, Those With Just Primary Education Have 5.8 On Average.

-- According To The U.N. 60% Fewer Girls Would Become Pregnant Before 17 If They Continued On Into Secondary School.

-- According To The U.N. There Would Be Two-Thirds Fewer Child Marriages If Girls Attended Secondary School.

Our Solution: We have an innovative solution that we believe is sustainable, dignified, and knits women together from around the world in a collaborative way without creating dependency or a sense of lowered self worth on the part of the recipients. How?

We ask seamstresses around the world (that's you) to sew a beautiful purse and give a small gift in support of the program (truly any financial gift will be greatly appreciated). Get the free purse pattern and learn more about this step at

We have seamstresses in Lusaka Zambia sew reusable hygiene supplies. Why reusables? This is the best solution for many reasons including 1) there is no garbage service in the poorest areas of Zambia - so disposable product is an ecological nightmare. 2) There is no local empowerment or sustainable way to gift disposable products, even if they weren't an ecological problem. 3) Training girls on a solution that is not financially within reach after the free donations stop is unkind.

The seamstresses in Lusaka are paid for their work - and in that way - we are creating a sustainable sewing cooperative. We are working with them to find additional sewing customers, which is going well. A large International charity sends the purses for us to Zambia for free, so shipping is covered.

When the purses are in Lusaka and the reusable products are sewn, the seamstresses fill the purses (and also include several pair of underwear and multi-purpose soap for laundry purposes) and give them to girls as part of the school's health class. The health class and instructional training is a key part of the program. The purse plays a natural part of that class - and ensures the girls feel empowered with the training and products they need to succeed. The girls take a 'Sew Powerful Pledge' when accepting the purse - they pledge to stay in school all month long - not stay home - and work hard on their academic achievements.

The total cost for us to deliver a purse to a girl is just $5 and that will cover her for 12 full months. Can you believe this solution is so incredibly inexpensive? The $5 covers the cost of the hygiene product, gives the seamstress in Lusaka pay for the work, and ensures our program can continue to scale up quickly.

In 2014 we did 503 purses via this model.

In 2015 we did 1,619 purses via this model.

Our 3rd year goal is to deliver 3,000 purses and help these amazing girls with the supplies they need to stay in school all-month and achieve academic success. So we need $5 for each purse, which totals $15,000. Ready to help us?

Please consider giving a gift of $10 to keep equip 2 girls and keep them in school for a full year.

Give $25 to support 5 girls,

$50 to support 10 girls, etc.

Imagine if thousands of moms from around the world all focus their creative and financial resources on this one issue and ensure these girls achieve amazing academic success! If we all work together it really will be so powerful!

Grateful for your help,

Cinnamon & Jason Miles

Ps. We will take $0.00 'admin fees' out of this money. Yes - you heard us - Liberty Jane Clothing (our company) underwrites the administrative fees of this program - so each dollar you give goes directly to the purse program. Crowdrise (this nice website tool we're using takes 5% of all donations, which is very inexpensive). If we over-fund this campaign we will use the money to expand and enhance the sewing cooperative so we can reach more women and children through our program. All donations are tax deductible via Sew Powerful, a Washington State 501C3.

The Team: $14,542 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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93% Raised of $15,000 Goal

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Jennifer Serr

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45% Raised of $1,000 Goal

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Paula Mangum

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Kelly Connell

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Shellie Fuller

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0% Raised of $640 Goal

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Ventetrez Xollections JP

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Mary Frank Ralls

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