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

End of September Report

I cannot believe it is a month since I updated but a lot has happened to be proud of!

After receiving the Days for Girls Training and their new kits

Firstly we have sent another 30 Days for Girls Kits to Pakistan so we are up to 106 kits now … and propose to send 30 kits a month. We have had donations for ribbon (thanks Yvette and Bill for your kind donation), and lots of cotton fabric, and I am so grateful that people are kindly donating undies and face washers.

Currently it costs $140 AUD to send each box of 30 kits and this is an on going monthly expense that we will need to do something about shortly. I have something in the pipeline to raise funds and I hope it comes off!! In the meantime – donations are very welcome as it is hard to get the funds together each month and the postage kitty is now very low.

Donations are gratefully received to help us get the Days for Girls kits and clothing out to kids in need – please donate here

The dresses we made and sent to Pakistan

I also have to thank CWA Hospital Support Group for their amazing donation of $200 which helped us send the 30 Days for Girls Kits to Pakistan, 10 dresses and 10 shorts sets for boys to the Christmas shoe box appeal, 20 dresses to Uganda via New Zealand and 10 boys shorts and T shirt sets for Vietnam via New Zealand – that is 80 children helped by your amazing generosity!

Lubna with the 32 dresses we sent

I have had to purchase a lot of flannelette recently – it is something that rarely gets donated – so may I ask you to look in your fabric stash and consider donating it – we just don’t have the shops in Canberra that sell it cheaply enough. Although recently I asked the ladies at the Craft Destash facebook site for help in this regard and was able to purchase flannelette at $4 per metre plus postage. I particularly need prints at the moment and would be really grateful to get some – each kit takes 1 metre of flannelette (that is 30 metres required for each lot of bags we send – it adds up quickly)

Kits being packed at the September sewing day

Lubna continues to work with the girls – and the ladies and mothers to really make the most of the training in the Days for Girls Program. I was asked recently to write an article for the Australian Days For Girls organisation. So I hope to share that with you soon once it is published.

Gideon in Tanzania is working on getting  the Matrons of Amani Kids trained for ‘Days for Girls’ and I also mentioned the small course ‘Men (or boys) who know’…. we are looking at sending kits to Tanzania via a bag carried onto the plane by an Australian volunteer. Postage to Tanzania is very inhibitive and costly – plus items seem to take ages to be released from he customs area. I will let you know how things go.

Lubna prepping the girls for the kits the girls will complete the training once the kits arrive

Our sewing morning in September was wonderful – sadly several of our regulars were not able to make it, we missed them – but we achieved 38 kits and lots of bags and dresses. We love new people to come on board too – and welcome Leonie to our merry group. She did a sterling job of assembling the kits and can sew as well!!

Leonie and Liz putting the kits together

Thank you to Sue and Ron who have taken over a lot of the dress and shorts cutting at the moment – Sue marks out and Ron cuts out! Such a great team – and certainly without my amazing ladies who help me so much we would not be able to do what we do.

New dresses – made possible with donations of fabric and the expertise of our sewing ladies

And thanks to Gill who is always ready to piece bags together, wash and dye (when necessary) fabric – I am so grateful to her – and could not do this without her help and humour. Even when I buy fabric and offer to wash it, Gill says she wants to do it – and I am so grateful!! she doesn’t even get fazed when I mention 20 metres!

Thank you also to all the marvelous donations of fabric, undies and face washers – we really rely on these to keep things moving. Particularly to Tash for facewashers, Gill for more fabric, Chris for lots of PUL and Libby for t shirts, face washers and fabric. This week I received more fabric donations from people who found us on the website.

Beautiful Kim and Linda -at the sewing day

I have lots of dresses to photograph tomorrow and will put lots of photos up on our facebook page – they are truly gorgeous and I love that everyone does a fabulous job sewing them all with love.

Leonie’s hands in action assembling the kits

Lastly – a shout out to our new sewing ladies Katy, Kim, Leonie and Ronnie. Welcome to the wonderful crazy team of people … we know you will enjoy it all!

Kits arrived – Girls are empowered, Mums are learning new info

Proudly holding the items that will keep you in school and change the direction of your life through education

We are up to 76 kits!!!! whoooo

Celebrating information and education which will change their futures

We have made our 3rd delivery and we are pretty proud of that

So the girls are learning new information and have a pack that will last them 3 to 4 years …. they will be in school no matter what time of the month ….. they will learn, and in the future can make choices rather than be powerless to make choices!

the pre education phase

And Mums are learning too – more information than they ever had before

lovely Lubna and a teenage girl who participated in the DfG training

Enjoy the photos

Every Girl. Everywhere. Period!

 

End of August Update

New Days for Girls Kits – keeping these girls in school and armed with the knowledge they need

Well these last weeks have gone fast but we are working behind the scenes to help kids in many ways … thanks so many people for your assistance – it is marvelous how many people are involved and I appreciate you all.

Thanks Chris for a fabulous sewing venue      

As I write this I am having a tea and reminiscing about our wonderful sewing day today and how many fantastic sewers and helpers we had. How great is this little village?  Today we focused largely on the Days for Girls packs as our hope is that we will get in front of what is needed each month … currently we send Lubna in Pakistan 30 kits a month and this seems to be what we can feasibly manage. In real terms this is quite a lot of work and uses a lot of resources … for instance 30 kits uses 30 metres of flannelette in the 240 liners, 2 metres of PUL (almost) and 60 large zip lock bags and the same amount of undies and then 30 facewashers and soaps. Thirty kits definitely take more that one 6 hour day for a group to finish…. there are many hours of sewing prior to the day to get these kits done.

So with thanks to Linda, Liz, Jenny, Gill, Chris and Natalie for all your work prior to today …. it helped us produce the kits on time. Thanks to everyone who donated undies and washers too – it makes so much difference!!

Funky shorts by Linda!!

The Cook Consortium has been spectacular in their sewing efforts recently and today we received the fruits of their labour. Thank you to Tania who assists in bring this all together and the amazing ladies who sew and get things done!!

Wonderful colours and dresses by the Cook Consortium … blown away

Colourful shorts for the boys too!

We have received lots of dresses too from others in the group this month …. Julia, Sue, Chris, Linda and Di …. we are stockpiling for several deliveries now …. and look forward to sending them out in the months ahead….. Uganda, Kenya and Papua New Guinea are just a few countries we are going to be supplying. In the next weeks ahead I will be sorting out the logistics of deliveries.

We did a talk to the Laurel Group in Belconnen last week which went very well. The ladies loved the information and several are going to look through their stashes at home. I also thank Lori for collecting fabric and we have lots of great boys shorts fabric as well as bias, lace and pretty prints. Every week I receive fabric – and it goes to good use … nothing is wasted and we try to use everything – if we cannot use it we find someone who can!!!

As I write this update I am waiting for photos from Lubna who gave out packs today. But here is the photo she sent me of the session preparing the girls for the kits. There is much excitement as the girls learn about their amazing bodies and how special they are. It opens their eyes and is a wonderful way to help them see menstruation for what it is – rather than shameful and taboo. I am also sending out dresses to Pakistan this week.

It is also interesting to note that keeping girls in school is vital in the girls not getting caught in sex trafficking … uneducated girls are most at risk.

Thank you also to my amazing friends who kindly donated funds for this cause for my birthday!!! We have purchased fabric, ribbon and postage with some of the funds and will continue to use these funds over the months to come 🙂

I am so grateful for your support … this week we are sending 38 dresses to Pakistan and by the end of the month 20 dresses to Fountain of Peace in Uganda! We cannot do it without your support.

With love and a grateful heart

Carol

 

 

Changing the future of girls in Pakistan

Changing girls lives in Pakistan

These simple packs will keep them in School

Lubna is doing an awesome job doing education classes and distributing kits throughout Pakistan! She has see first hand the effects of this very practical intervention. Helping girls learn about their bodies and keeping them in school.

Lubna explaining how to care for the pack and how to use the liners

I asked her what the women thought about Days for Girls and how they responded…. here is her reply (used with permisssion)

It is awesome…. when i talked first time about this they just felt not good hear about these things…as they have not heard before due to cultural situation. But as they listen all the details they were amazed and their mouths remained opened. They like this initiative and they would love that there are other girls who are in desperate need of kits. Amazing and lovely work by you. They are sending thanking words to all the sewing ladies.

If you cannot manage your period – you cannot attend school (130,000,000 kids don’t attend school, over 70% are girls)

If you cannot attend school you cannot catch up with the cirriculumn (one week out of every four is missed)

If you cannot catch up then you feel it is too hard to continue

If you don’t continue with school then you leave to work as a domestic and marry young (often to an older man or widower)

If you marry young, you probably have many children (some before your body is mature enough)

And so the cycle continues… for future girls, and generations like it has always been……

The smile says it all – opening of her world, increasing her choices – making her dreams possible

That is why Days for Girls is so important – it keeps girls in school… it gives them choices, helps them build a future, get an education and helps them make different choices for their lives. They no longer are bound by poverty, early marriage and lots of children. It strengthens and builds communities.

A little in awe perhaps but now with the information to change their lives and the packs to make it happen – these girls can stay in school and create a future …. different to generations before them

It increases education.

It provides possibilities and sustainability.

getting information about a previously not talked about topic – can be challenging even for the oldest of the women – but breaking these ingrained cultural taboos is important so women can take part in their community without fear or shame

July Sewing Day …

We all came together and sewed, cut, assembled kits and dresses – it was an amazing group of women who came together for a common purpose – to make a difference. We enjoyed the chance to be with other women – to see how things happen and to giggle and be productive. Most of all it was fun!! Thanks to Gill P for hosting and not blinking when the numbers grew to 11! Her mornign tea was amazing (I had 3 pieces of her amazing cake – but don’t tell anyone!!)

Gill our hostess with the finished kits

Our lovely ladies Sewed and overlocked their hearts out! We all worked on different things according to what we wanted or needed to do on the day

Anna-Maria in the left assembling kits, Tricia sewing dresses, Jenny overlocking shields

Gorgeous Boshka who pinned the hotspot to the linings – she did an amazing job

Leanne and I with a completed kit!

Linda did an amazing job with bags (because we desperately needed them – so thank you Linda) and Sue who sewed little infant dresses with cross over bodices, and Liz sewing the hotspot to the liner pieces…. poetry in action

the assembly line to put together the Days for Girls Kits – Anna-Marie, Me, Leanne and Courtney – with the gorgeous Austin under the table making baby gurgling noises

reading the ingredient label for morning tea – it is serious business

Thank you for your amazing work ladies – and thank you also to Toowoomba and Canberra City Days for Girls for their help in getting the next lot of kits to Pakistan with Liners and Bags – to supplement our own.

I am blown away by our tribe and what we can achieve – it takes many of us – and we made it happen … thank you all

Love C

Mid winter update

Hi everyone

Just a quick update to say hello and how we are tracking….

Changing our name – with the view to becoming a charity…. It really has been something I have been considering for a while that we now do so much than Sew for a Girl – and I have been scoping for an appropriate name….. We have yet to decide on this as I will need to register – and will consult the brains trust (otherwise known as my awesome ladies/friends) … I will keep you posted as I will need to register the name first and then go through the processes to become a charity. This will allow us to provide tax deductible receipts (it is not automatic and will take time for approval) but we will be working on this over the months ahead.

Days for Girls  … as you know we are now a team – Days for Girls Tuggeranong ACT – I am happy that we have sent 46 kits to Pakistan and there are more to come – how great it is to be working for this amazing project that keeps girls in school every school day of hte month, and it delivers amazing outcomes to the girls, women and the community. Pakistan will continue to grow through the facilitation of the program and we are delighted to provide the support they need through this program.

Donations…. Thank you to all who support us in so many ways – we recently took advantage of the Spotlight clearance and purchased a lot of fabrics for $2, $3, and $4 a metre. After cutting … the dresses averaged out to just $2.80 per dress!!!!! Thank you to Kristy, Karen, Ros, Bec, Gill and Liz for your support in this venture! Currently we have $310 in the kitty – and I have purchased $43 in ribbon and $42 in flannelette which have not been allocated yet against this amount. The next Days for Girls shipment to Pakistan will be taken from this amount which is wonderful……

Fabric Donations …. we have had a lovely lot of fabric donated by so many people this last month – and they are all cut and and ready to be sewn (except the shorts which will hopefully cut very soon). We have had amazing donations of PUL (waterproof lining) and flannel from Chris and Gill, and lots of lovely fabrics from Dorothy and Liz, Bec and Gill. And as always the CWA is amazing in their ongoing support.

Undies donations …. we go through heaps of undies!!!! And thank you to everyone who has helped … I feel a little embarrassed that I cannot list you all – but I know CWA Hospital Support, Bec, Gill, Kristy, Chris were very generous – and every one of those little undies goes either into the pocket of a dress or into a Days for Girls Pack.  If I have not mentioned you here I apologise.

Sewing …. as always thanks to all our amazing sewers who sew in their own time, often using their own fabrics and resources to provide gorgeous dresses made with love! Today I received more dresses and the colours and workmanship was as always outstanding. I love it when I receive these gorgeous dresses as I know how much love goes into them – so special!!!!! These are just a few I received in the last few days from Chris M and Dianne S.

Patterns…. are available in the store (the cost covers the printing and postage only) and now will include the 2 to 6 size cross over dress as I have been asked for this so much recently. If you have purchased the pattern previously – please let me know and I will send this dress pattern to you free of charge. We will be sending 20 to Uganda soon….

Labels … also available in the store 🙂 32 labels to the sheet – both boys and girls available

Special Mention – to Elizabeth C and Chris M for your amazing support and donations …. I am overwhelmed and very grateful to have your support 🙂

I think that is all at the moment

Thank you all for your amazing work – I am so grateful

 

Why is Days for Girls so important?

I am often asked why we became involved with Days for Girls and I think this explains it so well…. Our dresses make little girls smile, feel valued and special – Days for Girls changes their future by keeping them in school and getting an education which gives them lots of choices for their lives.

Honestly this is the best video I have seen – even after watching it 10 or more times I still feel teary

Every Girl. Everywhere. Period.

Days for Girls from Miles Hanon on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do 🙂

C

As I reflect

As I reflect on this global village I am amazed!

I love that we have our special gifts to bring to this little organisation which is Sew for A Girl Canberra

I am thrilled to see the sewers sew dresses, shorts, bags and Days for Girls Kits – that each stitch is done with care and the utmost of love pouring into the garments

Sue at a sewing day in Canberra

I am beyond grateful for your donations of funds, undies, soaps, fabrics and facewashers to do what we know is small but great work

donated fabrics

I acknowledge every step, phone call, chat and encouragement which actions people to help others – our tribe thinking globally

I rejoice in those smiles, those faces and the unfettered joy in receiving something special that the kids have received that is only for them

beautiful Happy with her gifts, bags and dress

And I delight in seeing those that care in countries far away, help coordinate our work and help us do the impossible

Gideon at Imani Kids Tanzania

Lubna – Days for Girls education session – Pakistan

I enjoy every experience, every photo and each sweet card written with the utmost of love

The boys with their treasured cards in Tanzania

I am beyond humbled at the trust in the eyes of children who have seen too much of the sad, the poor, the deprived and sometimes the depraved

those eyes have seen so much and drill into your heart

And I am in awe of the helpers, the carers, the peace makers, the guardians of these little ones

The sweet girls in Nepal through Project Didi

And I know that with each step, each dress, each smile there is hope for a much better tomorrow for these kids and the wider community

Each smile – for a better tomorrow

I treasure our CWA’s, War Widows and countless others who will join us on this venture, because they care and they see that it is so practical and important to touch these little lives

Those bags are a special touch by CWA

So thank you …. without you we would not be able to do what we do

You are our tribe, you have my heart

And I am beyond grateful for you all

Love

C

What a Week!!!!!!!

Lubna all set to travel to Northern Pakistan to deliver Days for Girls kits and training

Well firstly it has been simply amazing that we have our very first Days for Girls presentation in Pakistan – and it went so well with Lubna doing the presentation.

Lubna explaining Days for Girls

 

She does not know it yet – but this kit will change her future

 

Explaining how the items work… certainly better that what they have been using

 

Listening to the presentation by Lubna – things that even their mothers did not know – and how special they are because – without periods there would be no new life

 

Shy smiles – but important information will change their lives, their choices and their futures

The girls and their mums loved it… and they are very happy!! We have another lot of Days for Girls Kits being presented as well as the dresses soon – and then I am sure we will have a request for more – but it is very exciting!!!!!

The flip chart kindly donated by Canberra City Days for Girls team

 

the Days for Girls Kits

So how great is that!!!!

Kits for Sale $35

I am just about to look at having Days for Girls (and women) kits available for sale right here in the shop. They will be $35 each (included postage in Australia) and will include a bag, 10 liners and 3 shields which will last for three years with proper care. Washing instructions are included. If you prefer natural chemical free support for your menstrual needs (or incontinence needs) we are happy to provide kits for your use. Once I have time to photograph the kits I will pop them up in the shop (probably next week). Extra shields and liners will be included at a later date (I will get there)

Shopping for fabric frenzy

Okay I have to admit I love buying fabric (which is pretty fortunate really) … so I am going to take myself to Spotlight on Sunday to purchase fabric as it is super cheap at the moment!!!!!! So far I have donations of $150 which at $2 a metre makes a heap of lovely dresses. Just pop into the donations section here and add y9our amount – then let me know your favourite colours in the comments to seller section – and I will buy the fabric …. you can choose your amount and I am grateful for anything ….. we have wonderful ladies who will sew – and we need fabric at the moment to sew with!! And honestly there is nothing so lovely as to seeing your little dress on a sweet girl or baby!! Please feel free to donate fabric too – always totally welcome!!!!!!

I made this one and it makes me smile …. i love the cute piggies in this fabric!!

New Sewers

Welcome to the lovely Chris M who has joined our happy sewers (and is hosting our sewing day in August) – every week we welcome new people to help our little project at Sew for a Girl Canberra….. I love this journey!!

Sewing Days

Do you want to be involved in the sewing mornings or groups – pop in here to look at dates – please message through the email on the page to find the location

Presentations

I am grateful for the opportunity to do presentations to the War Widows tomorrow, CWA Canberra at the end of the month and St John Ambulance in August – I am so grateful to have these wonderful opportunities and to meet people who want to help – thank you for the opportunity.

Tax time

I know it is almost the end of the month – so in keeping with the frenzy that happens at this time of the year we can accept tax deductible donations through rotary. Please go here – and don’t forget to write ‘Tuggeranong ACT Australia’ in the requests box!!

I am still waiting for news of the Northern Territory and will shoot off an email on Monday to see where they are up too – but other than that – we are all accounted for – thank you as always for your support – I am truly grateful at the commitment of you all and the difference we make in kids lives.

We are small but we are mighty

Thank you

C

And so it begins in Pakistan!!

How amazing it is to make a difference to girls so they can attend school (every school day of the month) and they can get an education, they can build a career and make choices in their lives. Did you know that 130,000,000 kids don’t attend school and 70% of those are girls and most girls give up school when they get their periods because it is just to hard to cope missing school days and falling behind because of their periods??

One simple pack changes all of that ! One pack that costs just a few dollars to make (we donate them) and a bit of time. One pack that lasts for 3 years.

So when I asked Lubna how the girls manage their periods in Pakistan we had a very interesting conversation. Girls are not told about their periods, they just happen and then they have to deal with it an way they can …. in many countries that means sitting inside the house like you are sick waiting for it to pass. Using whatever is available to soak up the blood, old cardboard, mattress stuffing, leaves, paper, rags ….. even ash and rocks – infections occur and in particular chlamydia and urinary tract infections.

So Lubna and I have been planning this for months – we both did online training, which is not easy where you have the training in a different language and you have the computer for just one hour a day from a friend. Lubna was unable to download the videos too which made it harder still – but she did it!! and now we have a qualified trainer in Pakistan and we are so delighted that the first kits have arrived along with 12 dresses.

Lubna and the Days for Girls Flip Chart for Training – thank to Philippa Leask for giving us this vital resource

And so we begin. Reaching out to girls in Pakistan. Helping girls stay in school, getting an education and changing the projectory of their future …. breaking the poverty cycle.

The Days for Girls Kits

Lubna with the package contents – lots of dresses and Days for Girls Packs and some gifts too

TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS

We have officially got our Days for Girls team going we are Tuggeranong ACT Australia and I am delighted to let you know that we can receive tax deductible donations through Rotary – please write Tuggeranong ACT Australia in the area which is labled ‘Results’ this will ensure we can withdraw the funds … the Rotary online form is here

OTHER NEWS

A quick few things – we are desperate for cards for the kids – our stock is down to about 6 – and I put two in each dress or shorts pack – HELP!!!!! There is info in the side bar of how this works

A shout out to the CWAs who are steadily coming on board and doing such a great job – Moss Vale, Hospital Support Group, Tillgerry, Gungahlin, Bathurst Evening Group and I have had contact from Canberra and Bungendore as well.

I have talks planned at various events which is awesome and I really love showing people what we do!! And how important it is.

We have a contact in Tanzania who runs a school there – I am looking forward to meeting Garratt in July.

Michelle and I will be chatting and developing a plan over the next months as we roll out some events and our plans to get things happening

I will keep you updated with more news as it comes to hand – but it is very exciting