Dali Schonfelder Australia & Netherlands, 16
project: Nalu (clothing line)
basic human NEEDS: education
Theme Song: “Angels” by Robby Williams
Traveling to rural India each year with her family, Dali made many friends there. One year, she returned to find that the government had stopped paying for some of her friends’ uniforms after they reached 12 years old. Since students were forbidden to attend school without uniforms, those who could not afford uniforms could no longer receive an education. Together with her younger brother Finn, Dali co-founded Nalu to break the poverty cycle and give students of all socio-economic levels the opportunity to stay in school. Dali oversees the process from start to finish, first designing the uniforms, and then traveling to India to lead their distribution.
In a pilot program, Nalu made and provided more than 1,300 school uniforms to children living in extreme poverty, resulting in a 78% increase in enrollment. Not only are more students attending school, but academic performance has increased and teenage pregnancy in the village has decreased. Further supporting the community, Nalu employs local tailors to manufacture the uniforms. To ensure the sustainability of their impact, Dali and her brother developed a business model by selling clothing and accessories. In the coming year, Nalu’s business revenue will provide 20,000 uniforms per month by 2020, creating long-term impact for rural India.