This year is a strange one indeed and there is one thing for sure – safety of both our volunteers and countries we assist is our top priority. So with this in mind we are currently not having sewing and packing days but will resume in July – fingers and toes crossed.
What we are doing for the short term until we resume the monthly sewing and packing days is that we are doing pick ups and drop offs at SHOUT in Pearce ACT – this is working really well. We have nominated Mondays because it is easiest to have one day allocated but we have a large stock at SHOUT so we are definitely flexible on that.
One thing for sure is that ‘Periods don’t stop for pandemics’ The need is great and our work is essential – but while things are slow here – I expect we will have a lot to do as transport becomes available to countries.
Lubna has received a shipment to Pakistan in May and we have also sent another shipment in April – so there are a lot of clothes, days for girls kits, bras, hygiene products and school pencils etc to get out the the community when things calm down.
With this in mind we will not be sending another shipment in July to Pakistan – rather we have two shipments that we will get out as soon as we can:
Solomon Islands desperately needs clothing for their domestic violence crisis service so we will be sending 25 kilos of clothes via the Australian Federal Police
We will supply Amani Children’s Home in Tanzania with a set of clothes for each child (50 to 60 kids)
The Philippines shipment is on hold at present until Tess has finished building her home so we will supply once they are needed.
As you may be aware we have been asked to make our kits plastic free so we needed to learn and make a travel bag and pack the components differently to what we are used too. This new way has made things easier in that the kits are more compact and we can fit more into the box – plus they are easier to identify the size from the outside.
Lastly – I want to thank everyone for still assisting where they can through this strange and challenging time – the need is great and we will be using resources to assist kids and women all over the world once things settle – I am so grateful for your help – together we do great things!!
I have taken some time to get to this post as simply we have had so much thrown at us – in Canberra, Australia and the world recently it is hard to know where we could begin.
Here we are after what can only be viewed as the most crazy time we have ever lived through. It has been hard, more than hard, it has been sad too for most of us here in Canberra but devastating for Australia and the year continues to be challenging with Coronavirus Covid 19 affecting the worlds population.
Through the worst drought we barely kept things going when fires ravaged the lands we hold dear – our beautiful South Coast was devastated with people losing their lives and their homes and it was felt throughout NSW and Victoria too and up into Queensland.
Our land was tinder dry with 6 months of no rain – and the fires took hold and could not be stopped for over 5 weeks. The light at this time was the amazing ESA Commissioner Georgeina Wheelan who was our hero as she kept us calm and informed throughout the fires – it got so close to us – 12 km away and my home was in danger as we face paddock – there is nothing between.
Throughout this time we changed our sewing to meet the needs of thousands of native animals affected by fires, losing their parents, mobs and habitat – injured macropods (roos and wallabies), koalas, wombats, possums, gliders and bats – the Sew for A Girl team sewed bat wraps and mummy rolls for the bats, pouches for the joeys and hanging bags for the roos, wallabies and wombats. We sent 4 car loads of stock to the south cost, 6 boxes and 6 post packs around the eastern coast and inland of Australia. Many of us just wanted to do something!
We also supplied a number of organisations with clothing for their children who had lost their clothes in the fires, and for families affected by the terrible drought in both NSW and Queensland.
Then as we turned the corner in late January from the fire devastation we had a major hailstorm in Canberra, which wrote off 25000 cars with extensive hail damage – this caused people great difficulty with transport needs for their family and many have had to borrow to update a car that they were not expecting – causing financial distress.
And now Covid 19! We await to see how this changes out world – for this post at least we are working and running our businesses from home, self isolating as much as possible and the Sew for a Girl Team are sewing at home – we are unable to meet until the crisis has passed. Thank goodness for email and facebook which helps us stay connected with each other.
But on the bright side, and we must remember there is always a bright side – we have sent 95 kilos of Days for Girls Kits, school equipment and balls, toothbrushes and past and bras to Pakistan in January and at my door is another shipment due to be picked up this weekend. While it may take longer for the deliver to get to Lubna in Pakistan – it is happening and we will be in a different place in three months time.
Sew for a Girl Canberra will continue to sew and bring hope to those who are in most need within Australia and the wider community. Our sewers are sewing to ensure we are ready to assist when needed. In fact – I can probably say it is helping to keep us sane at the moment as the world seems in a strange and challenging period.
Just in closing I want to say how much I appreciate you all – you all are so important to this work, and you matter.
Well its almost Christmas and we have extreme heat, fires 50 km away and Canberra is working under a cloud of smoke. Our Rural Fire Service is fighting the fires and like the heroes they are, they are exhausted. This led me to take the step to offer support through SHOUT (my paid job) and become a drop off point for donations to assist them in their work. We have been proud to support Convoy Missions Australia and assist them.
At times like these I also wonder about the wildlife and know there are so many critters injured who need help so I have roped in hubby and we have been sewing pouches for injured wildlife. We sent off 50 the other day and should have another 50 this week. So many volunteers doing great things.
I have decided to run a wildlife pouch sewing morning at SHOUT in Canberra for anyone who is interested – if you can’t sew – we have cutting and ironing and packing to do! Kids over 8 are welcome to get involved – it is simple stuff!! Please think of us and bring those old sheets, pillowcases and flannelette (fabric or sheets) … there will be patterns to take home too.
Wildlife Pouch Sewing Day
SHOUT Meeting Room – Pearce Community Centre, Pearce
Saturday January 4th
Time 10.30 to 1.30
Bring machine or overlocker and thread
fabric or sheets if you have them
Tanzania has finally received clothing and cards – it has been a mammoth effort and when we were finally due to get them released – customs held on to them for 3 more weeks, despite payment – very frustrating. But the photos …. they make your heart melt!!
I have been looking for ways to assist the Australian Community for some time – and many of you know how frustrating this has been. I would love a great contact for our indigenous people but it has been really quite difficult to get any traction at all! But I finally have three amazing organisations that we are now donating too!
Drought Angels – accept our clothing as they need it – and love it!
Kids in Care in Canberra – were thrilled to get clothing for the 104 kids in care this Christmas – to make it brighter (and well dressed)
Roundabout Canberra – which accepts pre-loved clothing in great condition – and we give them our sewn clothing as they need it. Roundabout also donated sheets and pillow cases to our wildlife pouches production!!
Our stats this year are amazing and this is a testament to the needs of the community and the world – we are grateful to be part of this amazing journey to assist where we can.
Short and t shirt sets 402
Days for Girls kits 1014
Countless other items : toothbrushes, pencils, balls, bras, soaps and tooth paste
So as we come to the Christmas Season – I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a safe New Year. Thank you for all you do and as importantly for who you are – without you there wouldn’t be us! And we together make a difference to the world.
Hi everyone – I am finally looking at winding down for the Christmas break after a huge year ! 2019 really saw us trying to fit everything in and ensuring all went to plan…
We have had an amazing year and our stats are now reflecting what an enormous year this has been – we are all a bit tired and need a break. This year we have reached over 2000 kids from all over the globe and including some great contact in Australia: We sent:
402 short sets (boys)
952 Days for Girls Kits
Uncounted knitted clothes, toothbrushes, toiletries and bras
The countries we sent to are:
Vanuatu – via Ednah and TB program
Solomon Islands – via AFP
PNG – via boat ‘My Island Home’
Pakistan – via Tree of Life Ministries
Lebanon – via Syrian Refugee Project
Zimbabwe – via Victoria
Tanzania – via Amani Childrens Home
Fiji – via Uplift Australia
Canberra – via Kids in Care
Canberra – via Roundabout
Queensland – via Drought Angels
As Australia is battling with drought and as I write this – bush fires in much of Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales we are finding new ways to support our country through our work.
We have had a huge amount of support from other organisations – we cannot thank you enough because every support assists us!! Supports include:
Canberra City DFG Team
Across the Board Cake Decorating
Addicted to Fabric
John Paul 11 College
Weston Uniting Church
and many supporters who have helped in so many ways – financially, gifts, products, supplies and freight
Without our volunteers – honestly we would not exist – our reach is substantial and growing every week – and everyone of you is appreciated. Our volunteers do amazing work including:
Cutting and sewing DFG kits and clothing
Assembly of packs
spreading the words
Arranging with groups for me to make presentations
Donations of undies, face washers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap
Donations of funds and fabric
Freight and pickup
In particular there are the unseen heros of Sew for a Girl Canberra – the volunteers who work behind the scenes – and the families and friends who support us to do what we do! Many of us have a room full of fabric or in my case a garage and dining room! It takes love and patience to deal with this day in and day out without (much) complaint. We thank you.
As you may know – we are now going into our 4th year! I am particularly proud of what we have achieved – but even more so what we will achieve in 2020. Our goals are:
Support kids in care in the ACT and those in crisis through Roundabout – so we are now taking great condition clothes – clean and hardly worn – to donate to this amazing organisation. Please leave donations at SHOUT or at my front door.
To ensure that we support Australians in crisis where we can through established and reputable groups and organisations – including those working with our indigenous communities.
To finally change our name to Sew for Change and register us as a charity – this will allow us to give receipts in our name and assist us in getting rates etc under charitable status. We will be forming a board as part of this move.
To continue to support Pakistan as a priority – through Lubna Ghani – Tree of Life Ministries – the reach and effect of our work with her is far reaching and we are blessed to have this connection
To provide support to our Pacific Island Sisters and ensure we supply the region with DFG Kits and clothes
To develop the connection with the Philippines through Tess and supply DFG kits and clothes.
To work with groups and organisations to broaden the scope of the organisation whilst staying true to its mission and goals.
So from me to you all – thank you for the many ways you assist us – support our work and help us reach so many children and women around the globe. We are honoured to work with girls and women to make a difference in their lives and their future. On behalf of Sew for a Girl Canberra – I am deeply grateful to you all and your commitment and support enables me to continue to coordinate this amazing organisation to deliver clothes and DFG kits around the world.
This is a very short post as I will be back with lots more information soon
As I write this I am just about to leave for Vanuatu on Monday where I will be meeting Ednah for the first time and giving her DFG kits, spectacles, bras, baby clothes and lots more. we are taking in 46 kilos to the people in the villages. Lots of photos to come.
We have had lots of contacts recently and we are welcoming Mozambique, Ethiopia and the Philippines to the Sew for A Girl Canberra fold! It is funny how these things work out, with an old friend Jules coming back into my life – she visits Ethiopia once a year and we hope to get DFG kits and clothes over there.
Lubna is now in the midst of distributing DFG kits again after leave to have her lovely baby Joshua. So she is working through the vast amount of kits and other supplies.
Other news is that the container is on its way to Zimbabwe so Victoria can start to distribute DFG kits and kids clothes to the people in her home town.
The two boxes are on their way to the kids at Amani Kids in Tanzania – we are hoping customs will be a bit more generous this time around.
127 kits are now delivered to the outpost in Victoria for delivery to the women and girls who are Syrian refugees. we are delighted to support such a worthwhile project.
45 DFG kits have left Townsville with YWAM ships to PNG.
Thank you for your support – I am looking forward to a much needed break and will be back with photos and lots more news soon
July has been an incredibly busy month and as I write this I reflect on how we have grown throughout the past three years. Three years ago we met for a few months within people’s homes – and I would bring everything in and then most houses just wouldn’t fit the number of sewing machines or women. We then moved for a few months into the Grant Cameron Community Centre until, fortuitously, I stopped my retirement and came to work at SHOUT!
Luckily at SHOUT we have a meeting room (now upgraded to further meet our needs – cough) – and better yet – storage! So no longer do I pack my car to the headrests and higher (sorry for that Mr Policeman) … we ‘simply’ take several loads of boxes out of storage into the meeting room where we have enough room for 12 sewing machines and a row of tables can be made into a packing machine worked with willing hands and lovely chatter. How far we have come!
I am not really religious – but I do believe that it has all come together in rather a miraculous way!
And today I am going to talk about my gorgeous volunteers: I am delighted to say they come from all walks of life, and everyone is totally accepted. We are inclusive, friendly and enjoy our days spent sewing up a storm, be it clothes or kits, or packing the DFG kits. There is always busy activity but no stress – it is a place of acceptance and kindness. And I am totally in awe of the amazing women we attract to the cause.
I am also so thankful for Leonie for managing beautifully the packing of the DFG Kits area – it just is so good that I can leave it in her capable hands and she is so lovely with everyone. Leonie you are a gem!!
Gill is always working in the background – dyeing undies, washers and flannelette which is too light, preparing the bags for sewing and tracing the shields and pockets. I love she says goodie!! when I deliver yet another bag/s of fabric or dyeing!
And Sue and Ron who cut all the dresses and shorts and have done so now for over two years – this has been an incredible help to me – as in the beginning I was trying to keep up with it all!! Her work is wonderful…. we have filled one of her rooms with fabric – that is a true friend.
And Ron who did two years of hotspot overlocking, sewing and cutting …. who did it so consistently – we are missing him as he is having a well deserved break …. the overlocker is waiting for you Ron when you decide to return – never say never!!
Also thank you to Liz who has taken over the duties of snap machine guru – for the DFG shields and Flick who takes care of our PUL cutting – both of which I was trying to do (badly).
I would also like to thank all the amazing ladies who turn up every month for the sewing and packing days – who are so amazing and strong in their resolve for us to do something for those in need. They keep us supplied in undies, washers and soaps and they are all valued beyond measure! I am grateful to you all – thank you.
And to our home sewers – far and wide – we have ladies all over Australia who sew for us – and send through the clothes and DFG kits. I have not met most of you – but I am so grateful for your time and energy – you are amazing.
Thank you also for donations across Australia – for funds and for items …. without your support we could not do what we do. Thank you to CWA for supporting us so strongly – it makes such a difference!
I also want to thank our wonderful people on the ground – the negotiations, time and the consistency needed to get the clothes and DFG kits to those who need them is astonishing – and yet this is where all the volunteers above help me so much – I spend most of my time working through the issues and negotiating with 16 (at last count) countries – all are different and all take time – and all are so worthwhile.
Thank you to:
Ednah – Vanuatu
Gideon – Tanzania
Lubna – Pakistan
Lucette – Vietnam
Melanie – Papua New Guinea
Simon and Jann – Kenya
Steve and Margie – Kiisi Kenya
Victoria – Zimbabwe
Gwen – Philippines
Sue – Solomon Islands
Fountain of Peace – Uganda
Oz Blaydon – Nepal
Project Didi – Nepal
Sadly we have had to day goodbye to a few volunteers lately and we will miss them so much. Goodbye to Sue Dawes and Ray MacNeill who both passed away suddenly recently – Sue came to several sewing days and enjoyed packing kits. Ray was an amazing friend and photographer – who we will miss, more than he will ever know.
This month we:
Finally packed and are ready to send the two boxes of clothes to Tanzania – 33 dresses and 26 short sets
Have packed and are ready for pick up for the refugee project – 127 kits
Have packed kits for Vanuatu and the YWAM ship leaving from Townsville
Have sent 18 kits, and various other items to Pakistan in two boxes
Thank you for your amazing support – we are doing really well – and I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of our amazing team.
Hi everyone it is Winter here in Australia but it doesn’t stop – we are certainly busy. A friend and I took a much deserved trip for a week to Hoi An in Vietnam and we loved it – it was great for a break before getting into the Winter cold of Canberra.
Please note that I am trying to raise some funds to assist us over the next few months and your donation is very welcome – we will be issuing a tax deductible receipt and it is a great way to support our work. Even a few dollars is so much help. We will use the funds for the work – never admin – not ever!! Please donate through our bank account or through the donate section on the side bar of this website (or at the bottom if you are on a smart phone)
Account Name: Days for Girls Australia Limited BSB: 064 032 Account number: 10134986
We are so excited that our parcel has hit Pakistan after a couple of months and will be delivered soon – there is a lot of area to cover and 11 boxes totaling 110 kilos is a massive undertaking. Lubna is excited to know it is coming through soon.
Equally exciting is the work that Days for Girls (DFG) is doing with the Syrian refugees around the world and the commitment to get 33,000 DFG kits into refugee camps to support these women. We have pledged 50 kits and will provide more if possible. Thankfully DFG Australia is paying for the postage of these kits to a central distribution point so we can get them there easily.
I am also thrilled to let you know that we have a wonderful contact in the Philippines and we are just waiting for them to finalise their training and then we will be packing for a shipment (also carried over at no cost to us!) They will take DFG kits and clothing as they can – how exciting for the women and girls of this regional village who have so little.
Our Tanzania shipment of clothing is almost finalised and will be sent soon to Amani Childrens Home – this has been a little delayed getting everything together. It should be on its way in Early July.
We have been working with Victoria in Zimbabwe and we have stocked her with DFG kits and clothes – we hope that the embassy here in Canberra will choose to support shipments to Zimbabwe after Victoria returns back there in Summer.
Finally my husband are off to Vanuatu in August to deliver clothes, kits, supplies, DFG kits and glasses in 46 kilos of extra baggage! We cannot wait to see Ednah and delivering the items to her for the villagers she supports through her work.
And I would like to shout out to all the ladies who sew, pack, cut ribbons, overlock, raise money, buy undies and facewashers, collect soaps, find fabric and chat to people about what we do, every week to make this all work – we know that we are all small pieces of a gigantic puzzle – but it all helps so much.
In particular I would like to thank Frances C who has been amazing over the past year or so – as she and her husband move to a warmer climate to be closer to her family and grandchildren. Thanks Frances for your friendship, for your enthusiasm and mostly for your consistent presence and expertise! I will miss you!
It has been a huge couple of months and we have had so many successes I am delighted that everything is looking so amazing.
Firstly – we are delighted to welcome little Joshua to the world – he is the much loved and awaited third child of Lubna and Anoush. Joshua was early and needed a bit of extra care but is doing very well!
Our coffers have been helped lately with a few donations which we have used to purchase PUL, fabric, labels and flannelette. We also had some donations to assist in posting packages across the globe and we are so grateful for this as it is just so expensive.
We were told recently of a container traveling to Pakistan from Australia at just $5 a kilo. After what was a large negotiation process, and not a little help from some kind sponsors 110 kilos of DFG kits (205), 76 dresses, 41 short sets, countless pens, pencils, toothbrushes and paste, women’s underwear and bras set off for Pakistan. Thanks to Philippa and the ladies of Canberra City DFG Team for their support!
Then of course we were introduced to Victoria who has been working in the Zimbabwe Embassy in Canberra and returning home to her country. This has led to the amazing possibility of sending 186 DFG kits and 276 dresses and 76 short sets in a container for free!! This was amazing and we jumped at the possibility!! We also will be able to supply more for Zimbabwe at no cost for postage – which we will definitely take advantage of! Victoria has finished her training and she was so thankful for this opportunity to help the women in her country!
In April we also found that the Canberra City Team has post partum DFG kits that they wanted to give somewhere. Through our contacts with Ednah in Vanuatu we have sent over the past few months clothing for kids, 30 DFG kits for girls in school and lots of prescription glasses for the communities she looks after.
Leanne and Tanya have taken the supplies over and we have posted some as well. More will go to Vanuatu when my husband and I travel there in July – I have been gifted a lot of maternity bras and I expect Ednah will need more days for girls kits by then.
Bec has found a contact in the Philippines and we will be supporting her when she has completed her training with Days for Girls Kits. These girls are slight so we have a lot of undies 8 to 10 size which will be perfect.
Uplift Australia has been shipping days for girls kits and clothing to Papua New Guinea – they asked us last week for more – and we are now out of kits but June is coming and we will make up more !! So it is about where we can get them for little cost – we will supply Uplift as we can.
Telopea Park High School has contacted me in regards to the students making cards and getting involved and we have a large shipment to go to Tanzania of clothes to Amani Kids in the middle of June – so I have flagged this as a possibility. We have almost all the clothes needed for Tanzania except 6 pair of boys shorts size 14. Thanks to Chris these are being made and soon the crate will be on its way.
We are currently needing the following:
Undies – boys all sizes
Undies – girls for DFG kits 10-12 and 12-14 (cotton no lace)
Toothbrushes and Toothpaste
12 mm grosgrain ribbon – bright colours (buy through Ebay from China)
PUL fabric from Snaps Australia
Bright patterned flannelette (no eyes, skulls, animals please)
Thank you to the CWA who came through with 80 pair of girls undies for the kits … I also received a donation of $100 with thanks and bought another 100!
I think that is it for a while – we have been very active the past months and we are delighted that our work is going out to people who need it the most. I am off to Vietnam for a break for a couple of weeks and I will be in touch again here when I return.
Please know that you are all so appreciated and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This work is not easy – but it is special and we do so much to help our sisters in other countries.
Well it has really started and we are now in March – honestly – how did that happen already??
We have sent 100 kits down to Uplift in Melbourne for distribution through UPLIFT to PNG. The women there are desperate for days for girls kits and we were very kindly supported by CBR Logistics who have donated the transport!!
We have also sent 30 kits to Lubna in Pakistan – and thankfully we have now room in a container so we will be sending 50 kilos of kits, bras and clothing at about 1/3 of the cost as by post – I will be setting up a crowd funding for this $250 but it will stand Pakistan in good stead for the months ahead.
Please think of Lubna at this time as she is nearing the end of her pregnancy and has had some issues with high blood pressure – we are so grateful for the work she does in Pakistan and she is excited to be expecting her son … her daughters are very excited too.
And there is great news for both Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands with more transport options opening up through the Help em facebook group. We are sending days for girls kits, bras and glasses to assist people in very remote villages. We are gratefully working with Ednah below who will arrange to take the items across to the women there.
We are excited that we have a lot of kits and clothing going out over the next weeks – it will free up my garage somewhat – it looks a bit like a clothing shop at the moment.
This is just a quick catch up – I will post again when I have more information – but until then – thank you for everything you do!! Every little bit helps.
Oh and if you can donate some money for the 50kilos in the shipping container that would be awesome – our kitty is pretty low at the moment (under $100)