Olivela, a philanthropic shopping site, has partnered with global nonprofit humanitarian organization Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere on “Creating Choices” initiative.
The partnership connects refugee girls at risk of becoming adolescent brides with prominent influencers who have curated shopping boutiques with the aim of funding a year of education for each girl via CARE.
Olivela sells luxury fashion, accessories, jewelry and beauty, with a portion of proceeds from every purchase benefiting children’s charitable partners. Brands on the site range from Valentino, Stella McCartney, Carolina Herrera and Marc Jacobs to Victoria Beckham, Rochas, Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu.
For International Women’s Day today, Olivela will launch the initiative by donating 20 percent of proceeds of every purchase to CARE’s Gift of Change: Child Marriage Prevention and Services. Influencers will curate an Olivela shopping edit, asking their community “to do good” simply by buying products they love with the goal of funding one year of school (or 300 days) for their refugee girl via CARE.
Initial curators include makeup artist Pati Dubroff, fashion influencer Sai de Silva of Scout the City and fashion editor Kahlana Barfield Brown and fashion illustrator Meagan Morrison of Travel Write Draw.
Olivela will begin the initiative by funding each boutique with its beneficiary’s first 25 days of school and has pledged to fund 30 of the most imminently at-risk girls.
The concept for the initiative was inspired by chief executive officer and founder of Olivela Stacey Boyd’s s January trip to Jordan, where she met Rafef, a 13-year-old Syrian girl in a refugee center. She had fled the atrocities in Syria more than five years ago with her family, arriving in Jordan with nothing. To provide food and shelter for the family, Rafef’s mother had been forced to marry off two of her five daughters at the ages of 17 and 14. Rafef was next in line when CARE intervened and through the program, CARE enables her family to send Rafef to school (she’s a seventh grader), rather than sell her into marriage.
It has been shown that girls who marry before the age of 15 are three times as likely to have not received an education, 50 percent more likely to face physical or sexual violence from their partner, and are at risk to have one of the 90 percent of adolescent pregnancies in the developing world.
“It is no exaggeration that time is running out for these girls. This initiative was ideated immediately upon my return home in a race against the clock to change the trajectory of these girls’ lives,” said Boyd. “With CARE, we can ensure refugee girls have options — to an education, to choose their own partner and to live their dreams.”