Our motto at the BCI Academy is “Excellence in Everything.”
Working in a third-world country, we find this to be more of a journey than an end. Partially due to availability of quality materials, and partially due to being in a culture where people strive for enough to simply survive another day… not much attention is paid to excellence. Even so, it’s a principle that we strive for daily.
Over the past years, we have tried several local manufacturers in Ethiopia to supply school uniform shirts for the BCI Academy. Several companies claim to have durable uniforms, but we have been disappointed with their uniforms not lasting.
This past year, we got our foot in the door of a manufacturer that only deals in quantities of 5,000 or more and claimed their products were “Export Quality.” They agreed to a run of 800 shirts for us and we were excited that we finally found a quality uniform for our kids.
The price was much higher than we paid previously; almost $6/shirt, but we figured if we want quality we’ll have to pay for it.
We picked up half of the shirts and paid for that half. In just a month of use, the uniforms were discolored and the stitching was beginning to fail. Our staff returned the unused uniforms and will not be paying for the remainder.
These experiences of trying to purchase uniforms in Ethiopia has caused us to re-think our approach. We contacted a uniform wholesaler here in the United States for pricing. A member of our board used to run a school uniform company and this was their supplier, so we know their quality.
When we spoke to the U.S. wholesaler and shared how these were for children in Ethiopia, they offered us an additional 8% discount to their already low prices.
We will be getting quality uniform shirts for just $3.25 each, half the cost of uniforms available in Ethiopia. We really need two shirts for each child, for a total of 700 shirts.
The total cost needed to purchase the uniform shirts is $2,275. We need to order them now so that we have the summer to ship the shirts with team members, saving the shipping cost to Ethiopia. This will permit us to have the uniforms available for the beginning of school this fall – in September.
Please consider making a donation to this urgent need or sharing this need with someone you know.
This is an urgent need and will make a great impact as we strive for excellence in everything, including school uniforms.
Will you join us in this new approach?