Davinia James helped send 300 girls to school by collecting pennies.
She started Pennies4Girls to raise money for resources to help girls afford school, and even set up a “charisty” (a charity and registry) for her wedding guests to donate pennies.
“I don’t believe a penny is just a penny, and I don’t believe a girl is just a girl,” she explained to Global Citizen. “Everything that I do comes from my life story — being a girl from a developing country and being given the opportunity to gain an education.”
James grew up in Jamaica and says she experienced violence during her walks to school. She became the first in her family to graduate high school and college. After leaving her full-time job as a teacher, she devoted her life to finding ways to get girls in school.
“I have nothing to lose but everything to gain,” she said. “And if I can open up my heart to the world in helping to give girls that are deprived of the education what my “earthly parents” gave me, it might cause a domino effect.”
She’s also joined forces with the Hope & Dreams Initiative to crowdfund a project to provide menstrual products to Nigerian girls, since one in 10 girls in sub-saharan Africa misses school during her period. If the $50,000 campaign goal is met, James hopes to build libraries and provide period education to girls in Nigeria.