Education is a weapon.
What, Why & How? These are 3 major questions face us everyday. Small startup businesses, corporations, non-profits, even we as individuals all go through this self-discovery process. Understanding a unique answer to each of these questions will open the floodgates of passion and direction, which will eventually guide our lives, businesses and organizations.
In 2009, Austin Cassleman assembled a team of people to brainstorm ways that they could make a difference in the world. Through a multi-week process, we, the team, gathered information, assessed skill sets, and sought out answers to the 3 major questions…what, why & how? From these meetings, we birthed the Got Your Back Movement.
During this time, we discovered that its more important to understand why you exist, rather than what you do or how you do it. We have come to believe that when you know your why, it will forever change your work ethic, but more importantly, it will revolutionize the way you live your life.
So what did we learn?
We learned that education is a weapon. Those who have access to it are given advantages. Those without it, remain impoverished, hopeless & helpless in the fight for their lives. Nearly 1 billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their own name.
We learned that owning a school uniform was the gateway into school, but this pathway wasn’t a road without obstacles. For millions of children around the world, the simple cost of a uniform formed an insurmountable hurdle to starting school and prevented a countless number of children from continuing with their schooling. For girls, this was extremely important. When a girl attends primary school for an additional year her eventual wages are boosted by 10 to 20 percent. When she attends a secondary school for an additional year, it jumps to 15 to 25 percent.
We learned that we needed to create sustainability and not dependency. Whenever possible, we needed to tap into the local community to train and mentor local tailors that could produce every uniform we would give away. By pouring into the community through micro-financed programs, we would not only be boosting local economies but also would be providing a way for the community to rally around the idea of investing into their next generation.
We quickly learned as a team what the needs were and how we could begin to help. Rapidly, we mobilized and created a few strategic campaigns, as part of an effort, to start a movement to make education possible for every child.
A few months later, when we went on our first uniform drop to Haiti, we got to see firsthand how the gift of a school uniform was a symbol of a restored purposed in these children’s lives. Child after child, we watched a new hope forming within each one of their beautiful faces as we passed out around 1200 school uniforms. Every child had a unique glimmer forming in their eyes.
“I am going to be a teacher.”
“I am going to be a doctor.”
“I am going to be able to provide for my family.”
“I am going to be the leader of my country.”
And so on, and so on.
The uniform was unlocking dreams within each child and instilling a new hope that today was brighter than yesterday. Restoring Purpose became our why, Giving Hope was our what and Showing Love was our how. This is who we are. This is the Got Your Back Movement.
Now armed with powerful answers to these 3 questions, we’re making education our weapon. We’ve set our scopes on informing you of the hurdles facing millions of children around the world right now. And we’re not going to stop talking about it.
Search within yourself. Find your why.
Join us in the movement to make education possible for every child.
RESTORE PURPOSE. GIVE HOPE. SHOW LOVE.