Where it all began
The Bow Tie Challenge was a fund-raising initiative that was born as a result of my passion for teaching, my interest in fashion, and my desire to make a difference in the community where I work. As an international teacher working in schools overseas, I have come across educational inequalities in every country where I have taught and I always wondered what I could do to make a difference in the lives of these children.
Inspired by Sheena Matheiken and the Uniform Project, I decided to launch “The Bow Tie Challenge” where I pledged to wear a different bow tie every single day for 365 days a year beginning January 1st, 2018. The money raised would go to raise Afrika Tikkun – an organization that supports the education of children in underprivileged communities in South Africa. They provide students balanced nutrition and skills development to career and job readiness training. In an effort to support local businesses. all the bow ties were designed and made in South Africa.
What’s it like to wear a bow tie, 365 days a year?
So, wearing a bow tie, sounds easy right? Well, it is. But sometimes, it’s also just odd. To commit to the challenge, I truly wore a bow tie every day, all day long. I wore it to work, I wore it to the gym, I wore it to the swimming pool.
But, the thing about raising awareness is, you have to grab people’s attention so they ask, “Why are you wearing a bow tie?” And that…is the introduction to talking about the issue I’m committed to informing people about.
What happened to all the bow ties?
Many of the bow ties were auctioned off and those funds (in addition to the other donations) were given to Afrika Tikkun.
My mission to raise awareness on educational equality didn’t end with the 2018 Bow Tie Challenge. I’m still writing, speaking, and joining other allies in the effort to improve access to education for all children regardless of where they live or their family’s income.
Contact me to find out how you can get involved.