Brant boy cutting hair to help build school for kids in Sierra Leone

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Ben Pickles really wants to get a haircut, but after four years of growing his blond locks, he wants to make that trim count.

The Grade 5 student from Paris, Ont., who is now 11 years old, said he started growing his hair “to fight stereotypes and show that boys can have long hair,” but the length of it has started to make that crusade less appealing lately.

A haircut is now in order, “mostly because I hate getting it brushed,” Ben said, but he is going to put up with it for a while longer to make it meaningful and help kids who don’t get the same quality of education he enjoys.

“I am planning to have a very expensive haircut,” he said.

“I have decided to use my locks for learning. My goal is to raise $10,000 for
WE Charity to build a classroom in Sierra Leone. When I reach my goal, I will cut off my super long hair — and as a bonus, I’ll donate the hair to be made into wigs.”

The wigs will be for people who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.

Between 1991 and 2002, a violent civil war raged in Sierra Leone.

Over 50,000 people were killed and one-third of the country’s population was displaced. Even now, more that fifteen years since the end of the war, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The literacy
rate is only 43 per cent and 1 in 4 children is involved in child labour and will never go to school.

If you were born in Sierra Leone today, your average life expectancy would be just 48 years. WE Charity works around the world to create change through providing access to education, water, health, food, and opportunities. Access to education leads to better jobs and a stronger
economy, which will make a huge difference to the people of Sierra Leone.
You can help Ben reach his goal of building a classroom in Sierra Leone by:

  1. Making a tax exempt donation directly to Ben’s Locks for Learning fundraiser at
  2. Taking part in Ben’s Laundry Change Drive. “Have you ever noticed that rattling in the washer or dryer that means someone forgot to empty their pockets again?” Ben said. “I asked my parents if we could donate any money we find in the laundry to my fundraiser. If you’re willing to do the same, I’ll give you a jar to keep in your laundry room and pick it up whenever you’re ready. You could even throw in your car and couch change!”
  3. Placing a donation jar at your business. Ben will provide the jar and posters and flyers to explain where the money will go.
  4. Following and sharing Ben’s fundraiser far and wide – on your social media or website, in newsletters, and with your friends, family and colleagues. You can follow me for updates on Instagram @locksforlearningfundraiser, Facebook @locksforlearning, and on my
    YouTube channel, Locks for Learning.

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