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.