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Sophie Perry with dad, Luke Perry (Pic: Instagram/@lemonperry)

Sophie Perry To Build Preschools in Rural Malawi

Moeloco Flip Flop

It’s been nearly 6 weeks since Sophie Perry was thrust into the spotlight. Her famous father Luke Perry passed away in early March after suffering a stroke and as if that isn’t hard enough for any 18-year-old to deal with, in the midst of it all, Sophie began to receive a lot of online attention. We’re talking 90 thousand new social media followers almost overnight. So how is she using this new-found fame? How is she dealing with her moment in the spotlight?

It seems Sophie has inherited her dad’s kind heart. She’s crowd-funding to build 10 preschools in rural Malawi. With the help of her two friends Ruben and Gabi, Sophie will also build 15 gardens, 15 play grounds and 15 toilets with hand-washing facilities in the Thyolo district.

“We also plan to conduct teacher training workshops,” it reads on her GoFundMe page, “…and provide lesson books to each school.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Love these boys 💛 as for Gabi, she’s okay I guess🥰😂

A post shared by Sophie Perry (@lemonperry) on

Right now, preschools and primary schools in the rural areas of Thyolo are not government-funded. This means there are no buildings to hold the classes and if classes do exist, they’re held outdoors. There are also no formal teachers, only volunteers, many of whom have a limited education themselves.

By building classrooms and running teacher training workshops, Sophie and her friends are making education a possibility for thousands of children in rural Malawi. The gardens would also be used to plant, grow and sell food, ensuring the schools have a sustainable income.

Over 120 people from around the world have donated to the cause so far. The trio is only a few hundred dollars away from reaching their target of US$10,000 – no doubt, thanks largely to Sophie and her online following.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Thank you to that table for supporting me through it all 😂😂😂

A post shared by Sophie Perry (@lemonperry) on

Given how she came to have the following, Sophie was understandably a little reluctant to crowd-fund her projects on social media. (Plus we all know with insta-fame comes insta-trolls criticising your every move.)  But in one post, Sophie explains how she realised that this was her chance to use her platform for good. She writes:

“I have been going back and forth for a while now on whether or not it felt appropriate for me to promote my work and ask for donations….But with the help of some friends, I realized that what I am doing is bigger than me and my pride.” 

It certainly is Sophie. If only everyone used their moment in the spotlight to make the world a little better.

You can learn more about Sophie’s work HERE. 

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