Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bracelet Project Aids West African Education

Lydia Fischer and Lyndsay McBride (pictured), students at the University of Indianapolis, created Inches International after a service trip to Liberia last year.

Fischer, McBride and several other UIndy students, staff and faculty members raised money and spent three weeks in Liberia in May 2007 working alongside residents of a rural village – without running water or power tools – to build a six-classroom schoolhouse. Fischer and McBride couldn’t shake the idea that they should somehow continue the mission, the school reported.

The two students, both graphic design majors, designed the bracelets, a logo, a brochure and a Web site to publicize the project. Available in nine colors, the bracelets bear ruler marks and the phrase "by inches". The students contracted with a sheet metal company to produce the items at a cost of about a dollar each, which means the vast majority of the $5 purchase price is funneled to a United Methodist-affiliated charity, Operation Classroom, to fund schooling for children in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

They've already sold more than 1,000 bracelets -- for every 20 bracelets sold, an impoverished African child can attend a year of school.

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