On Friday October 13, my colleagues at Russell Investments donned school dresses to support a cause very close to my heart.

It would be wonderful if you could stand with them to support their efforts to #doitinadress. Our workplace, like many others around the country, was participating in the #doitinadress campaign, whereby people raise money from sponsors to come to work in a school dress, so that a girl in Africa can get the chance to wear one too.

All proceeds will go to supporting the charitable organisation One Girl, in their quest to educate 1 million girls across Africa. Please donate online.

More than 60 million girls around the world are not in school.

Every girl we can help One Girl support to get an education will make a huge difference:

  • Girls with eight years’ education are four times less likely to be married as children.
  • For every year a girl stays in education, her income rises by 10 to 20 per cent.
  • For every year a girl stays in education, she reduces the probability of having a child that dies in infancy by 5 to 10 per cent.
  • Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their own girls to school.

It is over a decade since I adopted my three children from Sierra Leone.

Recently, in collaboration of three other adoptive parents, I led a project to write a book Lionheart: The Real Life Guide for Adoptive Families.

Through sharing our own stories of raising adopted children, the book provides a modern toolbox of ideas and resources covering topics such as trauma, behavioural challenges and self-care.

Being an adoptive parent can be isolating, as it is difficult to share many experiences with friends and family. We wrote Lionheart to provide comfort to other families like ours, show them that they are not alone, and to provide practical strategies learnt from years of research and a whole lot of trial and error.

My co-authors and I had all spoken for years about doing something in our kids’ birth countries or writing something to help other adoptive parents. Eventually, we realised we could put the two together.

The world didn’t need us to create a new charity so all proceeds from Lionheart will go to One Girl.

I am very touched that the team at Russell have gotten behind me in my personal quest to raise $23,000 over the next six months to fund a “school awesomeisation” project and send 10 girls to school for a year in rural Sierra Leone. If you are interested, you can read more about that project here.

I would be so grateful for any support you can show to my colleagues for their terrific efforts to #doitinadress on Friday. Tax deductible donations can be made via the One Girl website here.

Jodie Hampshire is the head of institutional business at Russell Investments Australia.

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