June Update

Hi everyone – I have been waiting (not so) patiently for photos so I can write this update for June – but here we are!! Finally I have the update I am very excited about!!

We have had an absolutely unprecedented month in June – with so many clothes and kits going all over the world – the opportunities to assist kids and communities has been incredible. As I write this – more kits and clothes are winging via plane, and sailing via catamaran, to countries near and far. How great it is to be a part of this amazing journey – and even more so how amazing to find new friends through this work we do together. As I speak with four different countries all in one night sometimes – I wonder what I did to deserve such a privilege of leading and being part of it all.

June stats

This month we sent out

  • 23 short sets to the Solomon Islands
  • 70 dresses to PNG
  • 67 dresses to Solomon Islands
  • 15 Short sets to Kenya
  • 100 DFG kits to Kenya
  • 11 Dresses to Kenya
  • 60 dfg kits to PNG

So firstly – our package arrived in Tanzania and I enlisted DHL to take it as Aust Post is so slow (and the parcel gets ‘lost’ in Tanzania). Sadly this time, despite paying $520 in freight – with thanks to several personal and group donations – Tanzania customs decided it would not recognise the package as ‘charitable’ and whacked on a massive $360 for us to release it – last time it was just $20!! You can imagine how frustrating it is to have a parcel of 25 kilos delivered to Tanzania and then be billed this huge amount. We were lucky that we had almost this amount in the kitty (partly due to the US trip and getting several kind donations from the teams there to buy fabric) …. but it is so disappointing and we are trying to work it out so it doesn’t get caught up again. We actually might test the Australia Post route again and maybe in smaller shipments….. we just have to deal with the 9 week time frame.

So here are some photos from the Tanzania distribution …. each child received a little bundle of clothes tied with ribbon and tagged with their name – you will see that they had fun with that ribbon – the boys certainly thought a bandana style was the go – and I loved the colour coordinating photos of the boys – looks like they had a blast.

The box arrives and the kids are chosen to open it

 

all the little packages

 

Love that this little girl is wearing her dress from last time (this is when we were using cotton fabric such as curtaining – but at least we can see it wore very well

 

no matter how young or old each kids is – they all got a package

That smile says it all really

A simple toothbrush is precious – they clean their teeth with a stick – so this is a luxury – thanks to the food bank in Canberra

Every girl was given a Days for Girls Kit – we tried without a lot of success to ensure the training was completed so it is going to be interesting to see if this work – the matrons only speak Swahilli and it was hard to get across the importance that they are trained – so we will see if they change the girls lives

 

New dresses – son’t those smiles look amazing – often these kits have never had anything new at all! this is so special

The cool dudes in their shorts and red t shirts – plus the ribbon that tied their clothing bundle ….

Aren’t they just darling?? new dresses and they are obviously feeling very happy

The littlest of the girls – so sweet!!

More great shorts and t shirts and lots of different ways of wearing those ribbons

Love these amazing shorts and the boys love them too… another coordinated shot!!

all the kids! New clothes and don’t they look great – thanks to all our donators, supporters, packers and sewers 🙂

 

Thank you to Gideon – the Manager of Amani Kids Home for contacting us again to supply new clothes for the kids – as you can see they were a fantastic hit with the kids and we are delighted that they will be used and loved so much. The clothes from last years distribution are being used still and we are delighted to see so many of the kits are enjoying their new clothes.

Pakistan recently had two distributions of Days for Girls kits over 2 days. Lubna has has some family issues which stopped and earlier distribution but we are now on track for a July package to go next week and thank Zarrin for the offer of funds to send it. I am hoping that the Pakistan community in Australia gets behind this work but I am finding it challenging to get traction – partly because it is not culturally spoken about.

Here are the amazing photos from Lubna – and it is really changing the lives of girls in Pakistan.

Sharing about the menstrual cycle

This will change her life

And keep her in school

 

I love this ladies face – she gets it!!

Another day and another distribution

Sharing sometimes isn’t easy because the women haven’t heard this before – we are making inroads to Pakistan

Toothbrushes assist in keeping teeth clean and reduce dental issues – they are seen as a luxury for people with little money

Those smiles !!

toothbrushes and pencils for school – a winning combination

More news!

Bank Account – we now have a designated bank account for Days for Girls – this is very helpful for those of you who would like to make monetary donations and I have been asked whether people could donate from your pay and have it tax deductible – and the answer – thank you – yes we can!!

Account Name: Days for Girls Australia Limited
BSB: 064 032
Account number: 10134986
Please then nominate Tuggeranong
And if you like send me a message too
carol@sewforagirlcanberra.com

Another contact in Pakistan – Millat school in Pakistan has a 150 kids and would like to start a Days for Girls program – the link for the school is here. The principal and his wife are happy to do the training – how awesome is that!!

Refugee contact – It looks as though we have interest from a group working with the refugees in Canberra. They are now discussing how best to make it work for them and empower the refugee girls and women – watch this space 🙂

What we need at Present

  • Sewers we really need several sizes of cross over dresses now and shorts as we are very very low
  • Girls undies size 10 to 12 – we have the bigger size 12 to 14 in plentiful stock at present so thank you
  • Funds to shore up our postage costs – which is our largest cost
  • Boys undies 3 to 4
  • Small tubes of toothpaste – look at Reject shop they have them cheap

Position vacant – a volunteer marketing promotional person who can assist in fundraising activities …. I keep putting it out there as I sincerely hope that you will enjoy raising money to assist these amazing kids – the pay is love and satisfaction!!! I know you are out there …..

And lastly I want to share with you something I wrote the other day – bless you all!!

My life is funny and diverse
I talk about admin, boards, connection, marketing and funding issues all day
I move clothing across the globe
I get excited about washable solutions to menstrual hygiene
I regularly speak to contacts all over the world
I negotiate with heads of state
I talk to kangaroos and possums ( that was tonight)
And I am a drop off and pick up point which I coordinate a charity (so much so that I must have the neighbours wondering)
I laugh and I get frustrated
But I am mostly in awe
Because despite everything, of my weaknesses and perhaps my strengths
You are still beside me
Every step
Every place
Thank you my friends
This is one crazy life ( and lady)
And you still are here along for the ride!!!!!!

Quick Update for June

 
Our sewing day went really well and while there were only a few of us – we managed 57 kits and lots of sewing – and welcome to our newest member Frances Cornish – who is amazing!!
 
I met a lovely lady (Sue) at the DFG conference who works in the Solomon Islands distributing kits – and she said she would love clothing to distribute so our amazing Tanya Taylor is taking over 30 kilos of clothing when she goes next week to distribute!!!!! We are sorting this out today 🙂
 
I managed to purchase and was donated $100 US (by the Camano Island team) to buy fabric in the USA so I came home with a massive 50 metres of flannelette – which will keep us going for some time.
 
The box has been released in Tanzania and Gedeón Leonard Mawenya will be sending photos through soon (I will update the website when I get them – cannot wait) we send clothes and dfg kits and heaps of toothbrushes too.
 
The Kenyan distribution of 100 kits and 40 (or so) clothes will be distributed in July – through Global School Partners – we have raised money for soap – to give to the families so they don’t use the girls soap in the kits – there is still time if you want to donate 🙂
MONEY for SOAP
In Kenya families do not often have soap – so when we supply kits to the girls the families use the soap in the kit for washing – it is precious!! This in turn causes the girl to wash the kit components on rocks which wear them out very quickly.
So we are taking donations for soap at the moment and til the end of June – Simon will buy it over there as it is too weighty to take over!!!!
Can you assist – even $10 helps
The soap will be delivered to the family every month or two so that the girl can keep her precious bar to wash the kit – and keep her in school
We need assistance 🙂
Money for Soap
 
Congratulations to our power sewing couple Sue Haviv and Ron Haviv who have welcomed their first grandchild William Gabriel Haviv into the family … how wonderful.
 
I met with Celeste Mergens and I am now the coordinator of Pakistan! Luckily it is still rather small and achievable
 
Lubna Ghani will be distributing 60 dfg kits soon – but she is coping with a difficult health issue in her family at present – please keep her family and in particular her sister in law in your thoughts and prayers.
 
Our stocks of undies and face washers are great at the moment and will be fine for our next sewing day – thank you everyone for your donations.
 
We have Nicole Gray Was Bolton who is looking at raising funds for dftg so we are not always looking for postage money – any help Nicole is greatly appreciated!!
 
Also Zarrin is trying to raise funds in the Pakistani community – as yet I have not heard anything
 
Lots happening – thank you everyone for everything you do !!

April Update

I am always amazed at where the time goes and how crazy this life can be – but how wonderful too!! We have received so much in the past month – funds for postage, loads of fabric, countless undies and face-washers. We are so grateful – without your support we could not do what we do!!

Big news is that soon I will have an account for you to donate into and get a tax deductible receipt – I will have this available prior to the end of June!! Plus anything you buy for Days for Girls Kits – I can claim the GST you pay – so please give them to me or scan them and email to me so I can claim these funds back – carol@sewforagirlcanberra.com

Helping in small ways – here we work in small ways to make a big impact but what can you do?? There is actually a lot that helps us!!!

  • Collect small guest soaps from hotels on your travels – we use them for the Days for Girls kits
  • If you have a fabric stash you will never use but cannot bear to throw away – we are here to help especially if it is cotton! But if it is not, we certainly know lots of charitable sewing groups that love it and we will take it and pass it on
  • We love flannelette!!! just no animals, camo, guns, or skulls – the brighter the better – but Gill dyes the too light stuff – if it is on special – we love it when it is donated to us!!!! Each kit takes a massive 1 metre of flannelette!! 100 kits – 100 metres! or donate a little money and we will buy it
  • Undies – all kids sizes, boys and girls and cotton or cotton blend
  • Face washers – the cheapies are great – not too thick and better to pack and post
  • Ribbon – 15mm grossgrain for the ties …. here is a link we go through so much – 2.5 metres for each bag
  • Your sewing skills even if you live far away – we have sewers all over Australia – we have patterns and we have kits.
  • Your group – if you are in Canberra or surrounds I am happy to chat with your group and do a talk – it is interesting and people love to hear about it
  • Your contacts – if you know of a charity which might like to work with us – we would love that!
  • A little money – you can donate here and we will use it to purchase fabric or postage our biggest expenses 🙂 donate here

changing lives of girls and women

Stay tuned for a fundraiser or two soon – I will be setting up a facebook page for you to buy lovely hand made gifts – more about that later.

Lubna demonstrating washing hands and why it is so important

Talking about the liners

happy smiles distributing kits

 

We were delighted to send 60 kits off to Pakistan at the request of Lubna and she has given out half of these so far. The photos below tell the story of the first 30 and we wait for the second lot to be given out.

Changing this girls life

not needing to worry about managing days helps Mums too

We have had issues with the postage system in Pakistan where we have been charged a lot of money to release the boxes – usually it is $10 which Lubna pays – but this time it was close to $100USD. This has caused us issues so we have decided to call their bluff for this time because we pay enough for the boxes to be delivered. We are hoping that they will be released – I will keep you informed.

changes for these women and girls

We also sent over 22 dresses and 30 kits to Nepal through project Didi. It seems that a few kits were taken with a discussion happening about whether the rest will go later in the year for delivery or whether we will send them elsewhere (as they have small undies I am thinking Vietnam through the Quan Am Foundations. I hope to have photos soon.

finished kits

I am delighted to let you know that in the next week or so I will have the box finalised for Tanzania – thank you to the kind donations of Queanbeyan Rotary, Gungahlin Lions Club and the ladies of Weston Creek Uniting church for helping with financial donations along with three lovely friends – these will help us get this box over by freight – and it will take about 10 days!! we have the clothes already to go – I just need to put it all together!!

The gorgeous Amani girls from last year

Plus I am delighted to let you know that the women of Armani – the cooks, gardeners and matrons also will receive kits – as well as the girls!! the flip chart arrived today.

Amani boys – it was a day for looking cool in their new threads!!

I am so happy to let you know that Lucette Dillon the Director of Quan Am an amazing childrens charity working in Vietnam is doing her DFG training and we will be sending over kits for her to distribute and she is keen to train her teachers and get the kits out in her region.

In our sewing day for Kenya we packed all the 110 kits for Kenya to go with the Global School Partners in July – Plus we packed all the kits for Tanzania too. What a day that was!! Thank you to Simon Carrol of Global School Partners for your amazing work in Kenya and visiting us at our sewing day and talking with our ladies. We welcomed wonderful new sewers to our group too and we are now sending out group emails to keep everyone informed!!

Sue and Hilary placing the liners into the shields and putting them into the Kenya travel bags (which quietly were rather challenging to sew!!)

Pam and Verity with more liners – and putting them into groups of 8 – all different colourful patterns

Mav, Ann and Tanya finishing the kits with two pair of undies and a face washer all placed into the bright carry bags. in all 145 kits packed – 110 for Kenya and 35 for Tanzania

Finally thank everyone for the amazing dresses I received this month – they come every week and there are so many gorgeous ones. I have been crazily busy and have not taken enough photos – but will try to do that over the next week or so! I thank all my sewing ladies from near and far who sew these gorgeous dresses, shorts and kits. We are very blessed.

Thank you for everything you do.

March Update

Hi everyone – especially our amazing supporters and generous friends – what a month it has been.

We are doing a call out for Kenya at the moment and I am always delighted with the response when I put it out there about what we need! I was looking for girls undies – 200 of them and 100 face washers and the generosity has been incredible!! People have posted them, dropped them off, given them to friends and even started collections like at Fernwood Tuggeranong ACT. It is amazing when women get together for a cause and they want to help in real and practical ways.

Days for Girls Kits change lives and outcomes

In April we will be putting these kits together. Then training up an ambassador and dropping of 100 Days for Girls Kits which will change the lives of girls in Kenya. It is a drop in the ocean and I fully expect that we will be doing this every year for the foreseeable future…. the need is so great. Keeping girls in school is so important – without an education they cannot be released from poverty, they marry young and have many children (one of the reasons why the orphanage industry flourishes in Africa – the kids are often not orphans – the families simply haven’t got the funds to go around to lots of kids).

Love this pic …. relaxed teens

Sometimes people ask why I do this – and my answer is how can I not do something that changes girls lives – it ticks the boxes for me – it is a sustainable and practical answer for periods, it costs us little and is offered free, it comes with training and education and it helps to alleviate poverty. It breaks taboos and on a very real level the girls are able to make different choices for their lives – they can get an education, build and career and work in a stable job. They also will continue to affect generations to come by seeing education as a way forward and out of poverty. We know if you education women to change communities. It simply starts with us and people like us from all over the world.

Kenya – we are coming with 100 kits

Pakistan has distributed 30 more kits and now for march we will be sending 60 kits for a large village. I try to include pencils, rubbers and sharpeners for the kids and whatever I have been donated – toothbrushes and toothpaste is also so appreciated. The kids are really delighted when they receive their own pencils for school. Thank you for all your donations.

Lubna distributing in Pakistan

For the next distribution I have been given a lot of women’s underwear which I have included in the box – this is to assist Lubna to swap out the girls undies for more women size undies for the mothers and the women. So if you see them on special – we do use them – just send them over.

We give kits to women and mothers too

With Pakistan we sent over 24 dresses and 21 shorts sets for boys – these were greatly received and the kids look great in their new clothes. I thank you all for the fabric, sewing and donations of funds to get them there.

the boys in their new clothes with a card from Dapto Scout Group

I also am so grateful for the Dapto Scout Group for their work in producing beautiful cards which are so precious to the kids – they loved them – well done!!

New clothes, cards and pencils

We will have a delivery of clothes to go to Tanzania in May/June which will cost a large amount to ship. I will pop up a MyCause crowd funding I think to help with this as we are probably looking at around $300.

Our last delivery of dresses to Amani Kids Home in Tanzania

And breaking news is that we are discussing the opportunity for Vietnam having Days for Girls and a Micro Enterprise there….. more later as things get moving.

Lastly here is Ron with the overlocker – it is now serviced and ready to go again.

Ron!!

Thank you all for your support – in everything you do for us!!

February 2018 Update

Well we have had a great month – and we are back into the swing of things

Our February sewing days was very successful with another new lady coming on Board to sew with us. We have completed our first Monthly Report for the International organisation and we are now officially a Days for Girls International Team

One of our sewing days

We sent kits to Pakistan this month and they have been distributed so another 24 girls and ladies now have kits of their own. In addition we are going to send clothing to Pakistan this week and another 30 kits! It keeps us all busy.

Night time in Winter does not stop our Days for Girls work!!

I spoke with the Probus Club in Dickson with a great deal of interest from the ladies. We received $60 in donations and lots of interest in cleaning out the stash of fabric in their homes – so it was a wonderful morning. Thanks to Colleen for making it happen and the Probus ladies for being so welcoming.

Lubna and the girls in Pakistan

We have a lot on our plate at present with clothes being sent around the globe but thankfully we have a lot of active sewers – Sue and I often remember when she and I did the bulk of the work and now we have ladies in every part of Australia and this week I got 3 parcels of beautifully sewn clothing – from Heather, Dianne and Lesley.

Our Flutter Sleeve dresses

Exciting news is that we are sending 100 kits to Kenya with Global School Partners – we will be training the leader through the online training and we are rolling kits out to 4 schools and Safe Haven Orphanage. Plus all the children at that orphange will receive new clothing too!!

Last year in Kenya – more to come this year in July

We will change the name of this charity to Sew for Change Australia this year as our work has broadened the scope – stay tuned for an exciting new look. We will try to get it recognised as a charity with tax deductible status.

Thank you for all your support

We raised $610 in our MyCause Campaign which will assist us to send kits to Pakistan over the next 4 months!! that is 120 girls and women

We are looking forward to a wonderful busy and productive year

January News

It has been a pretty crazy month as I have been liaising with many people trying to get some traction on getting our clothes and days for girls kits over to Pakistan. It started with contacting and then meeting Her Excellency Naela Chohan, Pakistan High Commissioner in Canberra – who was so gracious and very much in support of the work we do. She is hoping to continue this work when she ceases her tenure and moves back to Pakistan in April. Two ideas came out of this meeting – firstly she will encourage the Pakistan Radio station to interview me about the work we do and secondly will invite me to an event to meet people who might like to know what we are doing and perhaps help.

Lubna distributing the toiletry kits to the kids in Pakistan

So in building awareness I applied to 3 facebook pages for Pakistanis in Australia. I know it is cheeky, but I couldn’t figure out a better way of trying to connect. One so far has allowed me to become a member and to share what we do, and I have had a lot of support – and a bit of negativity (which I guess I wasn’t really prepared for but it was okay) – being a woman and Australian. But the great news about that is I made three wonderful contacts – who hopefully I will meet and we can take things further. The women are supportive and while it is early days – it is encouraging.

You will notice that I have issued a MyCause page – and thank you to everyone who has donated so far. we are almost at $500 both through the page and with donations. Each dollar goes towards our postage costs – and that is amazing. Here is the link for donations

A little girl at Fountain of Peace wears one of our dresses in Uganda

As discussed last year we will be morphing the organisation into Sew for Change Australia – I have registered the business name and the domain name and we will rebuild the brand and website. Our hope is to make it a charity and this will take some work – but it will have tax deductible status (if all goes to plan) and a shop too – so everything will grow over this year – w have already designed the labels which will start to roll out this month.

Our new labels

One of the reasons for the renaming to Sew for Change Australia is that Sew for A Girl Canberra has become a bit obsolete as we sew for boys too! And we also have gently cut ties with Dress a Girl Around the world and build other ties to Days for Girls. I am sure things will grow further and I am delighted to  see where this goes – it is so exciting.

We have sent our shipment to Pakistan of another 30 kits this month and it has cleared customs so we are waiting for it to arrive at Toba Tek Singh in Pakistan. Lubna will send us photos when it is all distributed.

I spoke to Simon Carrol who runs Global School Partners and we sent 20 dresses to Safe Haven Orphanage through his organisation a year ago. The team is going to Kenya in July and we will be sending clothes for all the 40 boys and girls, there will be bags from the awesome CWA ladies and 100 days for girls kits into 5 schools with Lyn who will provide the training! We will be sending funds to buy soap – it is a little thing – however the issue is that the families have no soap – so in the trial of pads from Pad Haven, the soap disappeared into the family rather than staying with the kit – due to the unavailability of soap for poor families and the cost of such a luxury! The pads then has to be washed on rocks which shortened the life of the pads – so  we will be sending over funds with Simon to buy as much soap as we can – so I will be asking for some funds in about April!

Our last dress donation to Kenya – the girls loved them – we cannot wait to do it again!!

We have had some new sewers join us lately – welcome Laureen, Emi and Deb.

Thank you to a number of amazing donations lately of fabric from unexpected sources. We are so blessed.

 

First Distribution for 2018!

Well how amazing to see the faces of our very first recipients of our first 2018 distribution.

It is winter in Pakistan – the nights cold and clear – but that did not stop our wonderful Lubna Ghani in doing an information session for the 24 girls and ladies and distributing the kits. The cost of dealing with periods in Pakistan is very large – the materials expensive and there are no rubbish collection facilities – many don’t even have toilets or a hand pump in their houses.

Lubna explaining that every girl menstruates for approximately 3000 days in their lifetime

Washing hands saves lives and is a basic skill that is important to community health

Explaining the soap in the kit

Showing how the kit works

Giving each girl and lady a new Days for Girls Kit!

Speaking with the mothers and grandmothers

the grandmother on the left is the oldest lady in her village at 72. She collected a kit for her grand daughter and will explain it to her

Each distribution includes a session where the recipients learn how the body works and how to use the kit and then how to care for the kit – to make sure it lasts 3 to 4 years!! Lubna has now distributed over 100 kits to women in Pakistan.

And what is so exciting is that we are breaking new ground. In Pakistan periods are not talked about… they are endured. Mothers don’t tell their girls.  Teachers don’t tell their students. Couples do not speak of periods. We are breaking down those barriers and I hope that one day Girls will be able to talk openly to their families, Mothers to their children, Women to their husbands…… yes we are breaking new ground!

Lubna says ……Males of the society understood my presence with females of this community. But they are not open due to social hindrances. They showed great care and love and appreciated for such wonderful efforts towards women and girls.

Excitingly we have been offered a place in the International Days for Girls and while I don’t know what that means as yet – it seems very encouraging!

We are having a drive to collect funds to distribute kits to Pakistan over this year – we need to raise $1680 to send 360 kits to Pakistan … that is 360 girls in school for the next 4 years – that is pretty incredible. I am trilled to let you know that we have raised $490 so far!! Please be a part of this to help get kits to these girls you can donate here

We are looking towards an amazing year – thank you for all of your support

With love

Carol

Christmas time

As I write this I understand how busy we all are and how like many people I am running trying to get everything done. So firstly my apologies for not updating this for a while – I have gone back to paid employment (which I am enjoying immensely) but I have kept the facebook page up to date but not the website! So for the most up to date information please visit our facebook page….. Sew for a girl Canberra

with so many thanks to you all!!!!!

It seems to me that we often think the need is so great we can only make a drop in the sea of need. And while this individually is true – it is actually amazing what we can achieve together with a vision. What started out in July 2016 has grown to make a difference to 750 children and really, if we counted the many kids benefiting from school supplies and ongoing flow on effects for girls as they are able to attend school regularly – the flow on effect for the communities is much greater.

Changing these girls lives through Days for Girls Kits

One thing that we realised this year is that we do what we can, but we don’t spread our funds too thinly. We have been asked to provide toilets, school fees, washing machines and countless other things. But we know where we make the most impact and have identified that by harnessing our own abilities and providing lots of opportunities to create, donate and be involved, we are helping many more children.

A delivery of 30 or so dresses that have been lovingly sewn 🙂

The donations of fabric, undies and soaps etc, have become so regular that we now do not buy these things very often. Flannelette was a big issue for us this year as the fabric used in each menstrual kit is 1 metre. This became very costly and was taking quite a bit of our donated funds. With the help of the group we have now rolls of flanelette and it is wonderful to know that we have enough for sometime. Thank you everyone for your donations to buy the flannelette and Tanya T for your amazing and generous donation. Thank you also to Chris M who donated metres of PUL this has lightened the load hugely and it needed in all the shields we make.

Packing the Days for Girls Kits

Postage is always an issue – with $140 used every month to pay for the postage of 10 kilos (30 Kits) into Pakistan. We certainly need to do a fundraiser in the early part of next year to continue our work. It is essential to get the kits to the people who need it and it is making such a difference to the girls lives – we cannot stop now!! If you would like to donate towards the postage – we would be really grateful – it is really our most pressing need at the moment. Donate here.

The education session … learning about periods – information they never have been told before!

So it is with my grateful thanks to all my amazing team who cut, sew, package, pack, and donate their time and efforts to this project. Without you I could not possibly get it all done! Every week I am contacted by a person who is interested in sewing for us. While a few have dropped off the radar – many have joined and at last count there were about 50 from most states and Territories of Australia. While I cannot thank everyone – I would like to thank in particular Jenny S, Liz Mac, Linda, Chris M, Julia M, Sue H, Gill P and Leonie who are always doing everything they can to make the project succeed.

Our regular sewing mornings

A particular shout out to Gill P who helps me co-manage the Days for Girls part of our venture – and works so hard at washing, dyeing, tracing and also cuts, pieces and overlocks all our bags. Gill does an amazing job. Gill is still grateful when I arrive with more fabric to cut – or undies to dye exclaiming ‘oh goody!!’ – and does it all with humour and never a complaint!

Gill my co-manager for Days for Girls

Also thank you to Sue H and her husband Ron who work together at tracing all the dresses and the shorts and cutting them and putting them into packs. This is amazingly time consuming, but it is so useful for our sewers to know it is all ready for them when they pick up their packs for sewing. Sue also sews many dresses and shorts and sustains her sense of humour even when I arrive with boxes of donated fabrics! Ron has my old Janome overlocker and is now our hotspot washer, cutter and overlocker guru. We have introduced Ron to the rotary cutter recently and he is really enjoying this quick way of cutting the hotspots.

Sue – who I would be totally lost without

Of donations – there are so many it is hard to know where to start. So thank you to my friends who give of their time and funds to help out where they can …. we certainly are in a much better place at the end of this year than at the beginning! Our call outs are less frequent and this is a great thing. Every time I have had a call out – people have helped… with funds… with donations…with fabric…  I am beyond thankful. I appreciate you all and hope you will keep an eye out when we occasionally need assistance – without your help – it would have fizzled to nothing.

One of the generous donations of fabric received this year

Thank you to the amazing CWA – we now have several teams that help us regularly – and it is such a wonderful thing! We love getting the packages which always hold marvelous things to help our work – and the ladies are so fantastic to work with – thank you Kerrie and Elisabeth!

A letter from one of the Dapto cub scouts – says it all really!!

Over the last 18 months we have gone from strength to strength – Sue and I often reminisce about the time would try to match up fabrics for the tiny dresses and have nothing to use….. how we used to regularly go to Lincraft for a piece of cotton to blend in with several dresses at once, or how I would constantly be buying bias binding……..and now we have lots of gorgeous fabrics, bias and notions which have been donated and we are so blessed.

One of our dresses on a little girl at Fountain of Peace in Uganda

Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas, and we have a lot to celebrate. Love, friends, hope and a sense of belonging to a world which we can offer all of these things. So from me to you, I wish you a blessed Christmas, full of love and joy, and my heartfelt gratitude on helping make the life of children a little easier because we care.

Small things – these pencils are good quality and will help at School in Pakistan – many of our parcels contain school supplies

With love

Carol

Busy month – and more kits

Another amazing session

It is always wonderful to see the amazing responses to our Days for Girls kits sent into Pakistan … we have climbed up to 146 kits

This is new information – they are interested in learning what they have never known or discussed before. The mothers are also learning – as they do not know either

There is a very logical process of learning about menstruation and then what is in the kit … Lubna is holding undies as many poor people do not wear them – but they are essential for the other parts of the kit to work

This will change their lives – keep them in school, give them choices

 

The women come for their kits – this will help them so much

Educating the educators

Last week Lubna educated the teachers at her school – we are hoping to roll out more kits with the help of UTAH and train more leaders

Lubna explaining about Days for Girls

The teachers

Well our sewing day was a great success – we hoped for 60 kits and we managed to pack 90!! Thank you to our sewers, packers and everyone behind the scenes who couldn’t make it but do an enormous amount of work to get things done so we can get on with the kits on the day.

Here are our wonderful helpers this sewing day!

Chris (L) Gill and Jenny – in the sewing room – overlocking bags and liners

the lovely Leonie in the assembly room – coordinating the work and packing them into tubs

Linda – completing bags with a smile

Our two newest members – Sue and Hilary – assembling kits …. 90 – a record

We were delighted to send shorts over to the Solomon Islands via Dress a Girl NZ –  and here they are on the line (just some of them!!) We also sent dresses to Uganda in this shipment too

Shorts for boys, t shirts and undies

Here are the boxes we sent to the Christmas Box appeal with our dresses and shorts in them – plus lots of stationery items donated through the past months

lots of kits for boys and girls – no matter where they go we have helped more children in need

We are coming into November now – our last sewing day for the year

Thank you for all your support – it is amazing

Love

Carol

We are on track to the end of the year

Just a brief update as I wait for the delivery to be confirmed for Pakistan

Sewing morning is this friday!!!!

9;30am to 1pm

Grant Cameron Build (ground floor meeting room)

Mulley Street in Holder ACT

Everything is going really well – we have wonderful new sewers and kit enthusiasts who are excited to be involved. Welcome to Leonie, Sue and Hilary who have just joined our happy team.

We are very grateful for the amount of fabric donations we receive – it is just so wonderful that people find us and donate … thank you in particular to Michelle and Lori this month who have given us bundles of fabric. Plus donations of undies and face washers, flannelette and PUL – we are so grateful – as then funds from donations  can be sent towards postage.

Please note our postage kitty is empty – and I would love some help …… if you want to donate – please go here

I will post again once I have photos from Lubna – but thank you always for your support – it is amazing

With heaps of love and gratitude

Carol