CANDLES created in a Kardinya garage and sold all over Australia are helping to put more than 360 impoverished girls through school in Uganda and Sierra Leone.
In January 2016 founder Louise Garland and her friends Priscilla Hogan and Kate Lefroy launched Empowering Chicks, converting Ms Garland’s garage into a candle making factory.
Each weekend the girlfriends would get together hand making and packing scented candles, which they sold online donating all profits to One Girl, a charity dedicated to educating young women in Africa.
In countries where the average life expectancy is lower than 40 and women are still seen primarily as nurturers and caregivers rather than workers, orphaned girls are common and very rarely have the opportunity to complete their schooling.
Ms Garland said many of the girls funded by the One Girl program were saved from a life of servitude in brothels.
“I first heard about One Girl and started fundraising for the charity in 2014,” Ms Garland said.
“It really stuck with me how these girls don’t even have the basics – no education nor any support system around them to help them through the tough times.
“One Girl can send a girl to school for $300 per year but the problem we were facing is that once you give a girl a scholarship you need that same amount of money every year to keep her in school.
“Donations are great but we needed a more constant stream of income, which is when we came up with the idea of making and selling candles.”
Just over 18 months later and Empowering Chicks have just moved their operations out of Ms Garland’s garage to a factory in Armadale.
“We’ve gone from making about 50 candles on a good weekend to thousands in one run,” she said.
“Every candle is triple scented and comes with an inspiring and empowering message.
“The best part is they’re a gift that keeps on giving – I can send one to my girlfriend and know that it will help pay for a girls schooling, stationery and sanitary items.”
To purchase a candle or for more information visit https://empoweringchicks.com/