Spotlight on Dayle Haddon, Founder of WomenOne
Last October we worked with Lingua Franca to create the International Day of the Girl Doll to benefit WomenOne, an organization making an immense difference for girls around the world. WomenOne envisions a world where every woman and girl has access to a quality education. They partner with institutions and community-based organizations to provide women and girls facing extreme poverty, cultural barriers and emergencies access to life-changing education. We had the opportunity to spend time with WomenOne founder, Dayle Haddon, and became incredibly inspired by her and the life-changing work that she does on a daily basis. We passionately believe that education is a human right and we are honored to share that for the duration of Women's History Month we will be donating a percentage of sales from our Female-Founded Collection to support WomenOne. Read on to learn more about Dayle, a woman we feel lucky to know and learn from!
From supermodel to UNICEF ambassador to advocate for education, you have an incredible story. Tell us more about you, the inspiration for WomenOne and how you got started.
Inspired by my post-modeling work as a UNICEF Ambassador traveling throughout Africa, I saw the need for smaller and more nimble organizations that could focus on the most vulnerable girls living on the margins of society. With this inspiration, I created my own non-profit organization, WomenOne, to provide the most vulnerable girls around the world access to a quality education. As the Founder and CEO of WomenOne, I am committed to using my profile to bring both awareness and much needed funds to girls education. I travel worldwide to speak on their behalf and I work closely with my WomenOne team to build schools, develop innovative programming, and leadership workshops to ensure their success in and out of the classroom.
We both believe deeply in the power of education to shape our world. Tell us more about the importance of girls' education and your mission to "Educate a girl. Change the world."
Currently, 67 million children are out of school globally and 37 million are girls. Studies also show that an educated girl has a better chance at surviving childbirth, is less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, marries later in life, is 50% more likely to have children survive past age five, and contributes to higher rates of economic growth. We must support girls universal right to be educated and live a safe and healthy life. Education is our most fundamental human right and we must advocate, champion and protect it in everything we do!
Can you share a favorite moment from your work with the girls of WomenOne?
There are so many, it is hard to pick just one! One of the girls we have had the privilege to serve is named Mary. She is the first person in her family to go to school. She was living with her mother and her extended family of six in a tiny shack, about 4 feet by 6 feet that was nearly toppling over. Her family was barefoot and dressed in rags, sharply contrasting with Mary’s clean school uniform, when I visited her family. With pride her mother told me that Mary would ‘save’ her family by going to school. We have watched Mary evolve from am extremely shy girl with little confidence into one of our top students. Mary knows that she is the hope her family needs to exit poverty forever and she is committed to doing that.
What can someone do to support WomenOne?
The focus of WomenOne right now is on Kenya. We developed a new program called our Center of Worth in Nanyuki, Kenya, which provides school scholarships, social-emotional and academic counseling to help the most vulnerable girls in the community who are often living and working on the street, enter school and be successful. Our Center also provides health education, financial and digital literacy training and community outreach to serve over 6,000 highly vulnerable children per year in the community.
I am very proud of our Center of Worth in Nanyuki and the transformative impact it has had on the community. We are changing lives one girl, one community at a time! Our Center of Worth model has been recognized nationally by the Kenyan government and it is our hope that we will replicate it globally to serve the hardest to reach girls in greatest need.
We are so grateful to our supporters who help us fundraise and raise awareness for our programs and are always looking for new WomenOne Ambassadors who can join our team of change agents!
Who are three women that inspire you daily?
There are so many women who give me strength and courage every day to fight for justice, peace and equality. I am particularly inspired by Dr. Amani Ballour, Nadia Murad and of course, my beautiful daughter Ryan Haddon who brings spiritual light and goodness into my life every day.
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