Jamaican Davinia James started the Pennies4Girls initiative as a fundraiser to help girls obtain the money they need to attend school. Just by collecting pennies, the program James started has thus far succeeded in sending 300 girls to be educated. As a personal effort, James even established what she calls a “charisty,” a mash-up of a charity and a registry, to which her wedding guests could donate their pennies to support the cause. In an interview with Global Citizen, James said she doesn’t believe a penny is “just a penny,” and “I don’t believe a girl is just a girl.” She said that everything she does has its roots in her own experience as a girl living in a developing country who was given a chance to get an education.
James grew up in Jamaica and had to confront violence as she walked to school. Nonetheless, she became the first member of her family to graduate from high school and college. She left a full-time job as a teacher to devote her life to finding ways to help girls get into school. James believes that if she can give girls who are deprived of an education an opportunity to go to school by helping them as her “earthly parents” helped he, the effort is likely to have a “domino effect.” James has partnered with the Hope & Dreams Initiative to crowdfund a project that is designed to provide menstrual products to girls in Nigeria. Statistics indicate that one in 10 girls in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa misses time from school due to having her period. The campaign has a goal of $50,000, and that goal is met, James is hoping to provide education about menstrual periods to girls in Nigeria and also to build libraries to further their education in that country.
Photo Source: Davina James Instagram