Treasure Valley Nonprofit Provides School Uniforms to African Girls

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 20:25:40-05

A young Treasure Valley woman is making an impact on the everyday lives of school girls from around the globe. Her non-profit called "she"  is teaming up with communities in Africa to make sure every young girl has a school uniform and the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.

Peyton McGriff is trying to fight poverty one school uniform at a time.
 "We seek to improve access to education by teaching girls how to sew their own school uniforms," said McGriff.

School uniforms are a requirement in most developing countries but not financially viable for most.

"A lot of girls in Togo only have between 2-3 years of education," said McGriff.

This did not sit well with McGriff, but she didn't know where to start.
Then one day in her last semester at the University of Idaho Mcgriff read a book called "Half the Sky" which gave her a roadmap on how to implement change.  

She then decided to forgo her career in data analysis and started her own non-profit  S.H.E which stands for style, her, empowerment.
Her goal is to make education every woman's number one priority.

"A lot of girls wake up at 4 am. They will go fetch water, prepare the meals for their families and then complete all the rest of the house chores just before they just before they go to school," McGriff explained.

On top of that. The girls are also expected to outperform their male peers just to stay in the mix.

"It's really important that we are motivating girls to stay in school," McGriff added.

A sponsorship costs about 150 dollars but McGriff said it is a small price to pay when you think about how much that can change someone's life.

"A girl receives a new school uniform, a full-tuition scholarship, free health care for a year and other empowerment and training classes," McGriff explained.

Once a donation is made the girls are placed with a seamstress in their village that teaches them how to sew.  

McGriff said at first the girls had mixed feelings about adding a new skill to their everyday lives but are grateful now after seeing the benefits. So far the program has helped 65 girls in its first year. 

"We have helped the woman as young as 6 to as old as 23 years old," McGriff added.

McGriff carries around a photo of the girls in her wallet. 
She says the sky is the limit for this program.