October November Update

Hello everyone – our supporters, helpers, sewers and of course the girls and organisations we support. We have been crazily busy the past couple of months and like most people I \had so much on with work and this that the website missed out on being updated. I am sorry – but I am sure you will understand! We do keep our facebook updated however … so if you want the news more regularly – please pop in there – it is less tricky and time consuming to update and so happens much more often.

Distribution Kenya

We are having some gorgeous cards you can buy for $10 each for a Christmas gift … each card will buy a Days for Girls Kit and I will happily send them for free all over Australia – either to you – or I can play Santa… Here is the link to purchase Christmas Card Link

We have had one interesting year – with lots of great things happening… we will have sent over 600 days for girls kits out (a couple more boxes – 60 kits – are waiting to be sent as I write this) and we have clothed almost 1000 children!!!!

To make it easier I think I will pop everything under headings ….

Kenya – Safe Haven Orphanage and Days for Girls Distributions to 4 schools

We have supported Kenya again through Global School Partners and what a blessing that is! Through their generous ability to take over 100 kits (35kilos) and clothing for the kids at Safe Haven Orphanage … it reached so many kids!! In Kenya – the girls often have nothing to help them deal with their periods – so they stay inside or in a room for 5 days every month. These kits are a practical way to dealing with the normal part of a woman’s life and they can go to school!! The photos are below

Don’t you love those smiles – a bit embarrassed but learning about how their bodies work

The flip chart is a fantastic resource and the girls are amazed to see and learn

Sometime the school room is outside!

Working out how this all works and demonstrating for their classmates

Those smiles!!

In the outside classroom – showing the elements of the kit

Each kid at Safe Haven got a bag with their name embroidered on it – thanks to Chris and Frances!! This is Davies … new clothes and bag too!!

The girls in their new dresses cooking for everyone at Safe Haven

 Papua New Guinea – Rousell Island

Thrilled to have photos from the distribution of Days for Girls Kits via catamaran at Rousell Island PNG. In all we sent 60 kits and Esperance sent more! They certainly are looking for more kits next year which we will happily assist with. Thanks to Marina and her family for making this all possible.

The happy recipients of the Days for Girls Kits in Rousell PNG

So many bright and wonderful kits !!

Vanuatu clothing distribution

We are thrilled to assist Ednah in clothing and sent both shorts and dresses for the islands where many people live in remote locations . Firstly 65 short sets were sent out to Vanuatu and then we we very fortunate to have Anita take over 25 kilos of dresses!! These have been delivered to Sonta and we are waiting on photos!! Big thank you to Glenn Thorley of Port Stephens Removals and Brisbane Moving for delivering them to Anita so we didn’t have to pay for freight.

safe arrival of 25 kilos of dresses to Vanuatu – thanks to Anita and her team, Peter Ora for the ferry to Sonta and two amazing removal companies Port Stephens Removals and Brisbane Removals who took the dresses to Anita from Canberra!! Talk about a village!!

this little girl is being treated for TB – she was delighted with the short set (the dresses had not yet arrived!!)

Ednah and her patient in Vanuatu – the boys now have new clothes!!

Pakistan another successful distribution

We are distributing 30 kits a month to Pakistan with 60 still to go out in December. Lubna is still getting requests from all over the region and it is wonderful to see that it is making such an impact that we are looking to build an enterprise there next year – how exciting!!

so amazing – breaking taboos and educating women – these women will have a much better chance to be educated and build a career than their mothers!

Still shy – but this will help them so much – no need to miss school, or go to the city for supplies

Solomon Islands

These will be probably the only photos we get from this distribution of 25 kilos of kids clothing to a domestic violence refuge in the Solomon Islands due to privacy concerns. However – how awesome is it to help – and thanks to the AFP for shipping it over for us! We hope it makes life just a bit easier for these abused women and their kids.

boxes of kids clothes for the domestic violence refuge – Solomon Islands

Uganda

Fountain of Peace has been distributing our clothes – mainly shorts this time … I had to include these!!

How cute are these kids and our shorts!!

serious business – I love the little guy in orange in our shorts!!

I will do our end of year update in a couple of weeks – but thank you for your support …. and please continue to assist us in any way you can – we are so grateful!!

  • Donate some funds here 🙂 Link
  • Buy a Christmas card or 2 and keep a girl in school for 4 years Link
  • Sew for us – purchase a pattern Link
  • Donate undies, face washers and soaps
  • Donate toothbrushes, toothpaste and pencils
  • Tell others about us – spread the word
  • Ask me to speak to your group – I would love that – Canberra and Queanbeyan

Everything you do impacts positively on a child – 100% of all donations is always used directly for the need – no commission or administration fees are ever taken out.

With love and gratitude

Carol

Spring Update (Aug & September)

Hi everyone – thank you firstly for your amazing support – I certainly know that we are heading fast to the end of the year and things will slow down – but as yet we are still quite busy!

In their new clothes – the kids at Safe Haven Orphanage

I went to Bali recently ans was able to purchase Batik and elastic for our sewing at such amazing prices. I spent $100 and then purchased lots of batik for my personal sewing – all the cutoff pieces will go into DFG kits.

How is this? amazing fabrics and lots of great colours for Days for Girls kits – Bali

Firstly – as promised some new photos from the Safe Haven Orphanage in Kiisi Kenya – where we distributed clothes for the boys and girls – they were so excited and especially the boys because they missed out last time – as we were sewing only for girls at that time.

Davies with his bag – very precious- and his clothes (made by Kim)

Cooking in the dresses – the kids loved them so much they didn’t want to take them off

Esther with her new dress – proudly holding it up – made by Tanya

Rehema – with her dress by Tanya – that smile says it all

Rudia has a pink dress – a favourite colour

We also sent over 100 Days for Girls Kits and these have been distributed to 4 schools in Kiisi Kenya – along with extra soap distributed monthly to families so the girl doesn’t lose soap from her kit for family use. As yet I have not got photos for these distributions but hope to very shortly.

We have now posted 65 short sets for boys and 20 toiletry kits (thanks Chris for making these up) to Vanuatu. They have now cleared customs and are awaiting pick up. It took three weeks and we are waiting impatiently to see if they get released through the postal system (and whether they will require further payment!!)

The amazing Lubna Ghani

Distribution of pencils and toothbrushes to kids!! Thanks to a kind donation from the food bank

Our distribution in Pakistan went well in August, however one lady walked out as she didn’t want to listen – this is an issue we have sometimes, because what we are saying breaks down barriers and taboos, and some women are not happy to hear it. However all the others stayed and thanked Lubna for the session and the kit. It is sometimes not easy to reach into a community which has never talked about menstruation and even more so since it is seem as unclean and shameful. It is a big ask for the women to sit and listen when they have never heard this before.

She has never heard this before – always thought it was shameful – now she is equipped to know – she will move mountains

I will post another 30 off this week. It has been somewhat crazy at work and with a couple of weeks leave thrown in I haven’t had a lot of time – but I will get to the post office on Tuesday.

These ladies still sat and listened – they know now things they never were told before – that is amazing. And thanks to Dr Zarrin for your support in getting the dfg kits there

Lubna says: Its not easy to break the Barriers when talk to illiterate conservative Women in villages. Today in chak 388 Pakistan… It was good group to start with general women health, talked about their cleanliness and taking care of their kids to get them involved. It was the good beginning but during the session one woman left the group by saying….” what is she talking about”? I can not listen this”

But I continued the session.. Because mostly young girls were listening very carefully. And they said its their first time that they have heard about it. I was little upset but we learn each time to tackle these kinds of behaviors. We are breaking barriers by standing fast with our mission. God bless you. Days for Girls – Pakistan.

I am in consultation with the Solomon Islands to look at distribution of clothes through a domestic violence refuge. These abused and distressed women and children need some clothing and support and we can assist at least with clothing for the kids – we will work with the AFP to take over the clothing – so no postage costs!! Yeah!

Another shipment of girls dresses and women’s undies will go out to Vanuatu via Anita who is taking a team over in November and has agreed to take 20 kilos from Australia. Anita will liaise with the amazing Ednah over there.

Still waiting on photos from Papua New Guinea and My Island Home distributions. Will post them up when I can.

Fernwood Tuggeranong is going to use us as the recipient for their Market Day on the 1st December – this is very exciting and as you know we can always use funds for postage!

There were over 100 kits made up last sewing day!! so we again have a great amount in stock! So we find ourselves  desperate for undies at the moment – Girls sizes 10 to 12 and 12 to 14 as we have a lot of kits to make up in the next two months. What a wonderful position to be in – so please consider adding a pack of undies to your shopping next time you are in a department store – we will gratefully receive them 🙂

Also we need toothpaste – the small size from Reject shop is great – please help get toothpaste to Pakistan 🙂

I can also purchase undies for you if you like – and it is tax deductible 🙂 Bank details are below.

We will have a GST claim for the end of this quarter – but postage has been rather high lately with Vanuatu costing $280 and Pakistan $130 – our bank account has just $90 in it at present. You can donate any amount…… Tax deductible receipts are now available from me – just let me know if you want one 🙂

Here is our account for a tax deductible donation if you wish

Account Name: Days for Girls Australia Limited
BSB: 064 032
Account number: 10134986

Welcome to our lovely new sewers and especially those from far afield who sew away and post their lovely dresses and shorts to us – we are so grateful!!

And lastly – thank you to all our supporters all over Canberra and Australia – we are really delighted that you are with us all the way! Every little bit helps and it makes such a difference to the kids of the world!

Update for July

Hi everyone and welcome to our update for July

A quick reminder that our next sewing day is the 17th August – we have lots to do and I will be taking you through making a shield as we so need assistance on these every month 🙂 If you can’t sew there is still much to do – and we can use your help… we need help putting kits together and lots of other activities such as cutting out … no experience necessary – and morning tea provided!!

Our orphanage policy: As a group we currently support only two orphanages – this one and Fountain or Peace in Uganda … we certainly get asked to help a lot of ‘orphans’ however I have found that these are not necessarily orphans, many have one or both parents,  and there is a lot of ‘volunteering in orphanages’ that goes on – when often these children have families and the children are in fact kept in orphanages and don’t get access to their families. Please believe me when I say I really look into every organisation we donate to – to ensure we are not enabling a problem and dependence.  So it is important to assist where we can – and make sure our clothes and kits are being accessed to those most in need.

We firstly are delighted to let you know that the Global School Partners have distributed the clothing to all the orphans in Safe Haven Orphanage in Kenya – these kids are HIV orphans or had a life of living on the street in Kiisi Kenya.

Playing soccer – new clothes

So to Kiisi Kenya…. here are the first photos – and I am sure there will be more … thank you to Global School Partners for the opportunity and to Steve and Margy who manage Safe Haven and care for these kids as their own. We sent each child an outfit in their own ‘dilly’ bag with their embroidered name on the front (thanks to CWA, Frances and Chris). We also sent 100 Days for Girls Kits and lots and lots of soap to assist their families (and to stop the families using the soap in each kit). I am hoping for more photos soon.

New clothes – thank you all

As I write this we are still waiting on news for the Days for Girls delivery to Pakistan. I will keep you posted – usually it takes 10 days – this time it has taken much longer. Fingers crossed and prayers needed at this time.

The catamaran is now sailing to PNG and taking 60 Days for Girls kits to one of the remote areas – where there is no money – but a bartering system. We had a over abundance of kits and we have donated 60 to this cause called ‘Our Island Home’ … they take much needed supplies, medicines and items to these remote spots. We should receive news in a few weeks and photos!! Cannot wait!!!!

Also ditto with the PNG air lift which Bill assists in – 70 dresses were donated in July and have been taken over.

Thank you to ‘Pacific Smiles’ which took clothing to Fiji recently and it has now been distributed. We are waiting on more photos – but this is a start – thanks to Sheree and her family for assisting these kids – and we hope to see more smiles soon.

bright and happy dresses – more to come

Susan distributes Days for Girls Kits in the  Solomon Islands was a contact I made at a conference in Melbourne at hte DFG conference. It was great to chat with her and Tanya traveled over to the Solomons to catch up with her husband recently. It was a very quick turnaround – but needless to say, despite Susan having to return to Australia because she was so ill, we managed to still have half the clothes distributed and the other half will be distributed soon. Tanya also sewed 21 pair of shorts while she was there ‘on holiday’ (smile) so we have done well.

Sweet dresses on lovely little girls

one of my faves

in a rainbow – size 2 – how cute is she

only hald the distribution so far – more to come

love those shorts

so delightful – dresses by Tanya!!

Island girl and boy – so sweet

matchy matchy – too cute

At last I have some photos back from our Project Didi distribution – these are girls rescued from sex trafficking in Nepal and we honour their policy not to show the girls faces. The lovely smile is from the coordinator Smitri ….. isn’t that wonderful.

gorgeous dress and the coordinator Smitri who will be doing the Days for Girls Training soon

The girls in their new dresses – they loved them and couldn’t wait to put them on

I have been chatting to Lucette Dillon of her charity Quan Am (Vietnam) about Days for Girls for some time. We decided to donate Days for Girls Kits to her organisation when she goes in August, but time was against us – and while we might have got them there – it was better to ask the Coordinator of NZ to assist – so enter Helen!!. Lucette, Helen (from NZ Days for Girls) and I managed to liaise and NZ Days for Girls is now assisting Lucette in getting the kits and facilitating this to the area that Lucette’s charity works in. How wonderful – and thank to Helen for donating the kits. This is just the start – Lucette is looking at training her staff to deliver the sessions to the girls and I think this will take off!!

So how is August looking?

  • We have currently filled our commitments in June and July and now we are delighted to say that our clothing – which was getting very low is now beginning to look healthy again.
  • We look as though we have a contact in India – and I will let you know more when I can
  • We are in desperate need of sizes 4 to 6 girls undies and also sizes 6 to 8 girls undies if you are able – we would love that!!
  • Iris is sorting out a large fabric donation from closing her business – I am not sure what that looks like for us – but I am excited
  • We welcome several more sewers this month (mostly NSW and Qld) and please let us know if you would like fabric to sew … we have a lot in stock :)…. we also have kits to sew – nothing needed except your sewing machine!!
  • Thanks to your tireless efforts we are getting our cross over dresses up to stock levels – but would love more shorts (we were down to 4 pair recently – all sizes needed. We have about 15 in stock at the moment – so it is light on!!
  • Our coffers will look better once we have the GST paid back – but we are very short at present – please make sure you save receipts so I can claim GST – it really does help us so much
  • I will happily come and talk to your group about what we do – please just email me carol@sewforagirlcanberra.com
  • For tax deductible donations – and100% goes to our work ….
    Account Name: Days for Girls Australia Limited
    BSB: 064 032
    Account number: 10134986
    Please then nominate Tuggeranong

I really wanted to share this with you – it is taken from the leaders chat – but just in case you are ever in any doubt about what you do – and why it is important 🙂

 Our Kenyan friend and translator, Dama, has asked the women who received kits in 2016 for any feedback on how the kits are faring. They said:
*We love our kits – they are bright colours.
*We would like more kits for our daughters who now need them too.
*The kits are wearing well and are still in good condition.
*We need more of the folded pieces that fit in pockets (liners) as we scrub them and they are getting thin.
*Please come back and bring more because we love them.
*We remember dancing with you that day.
It’s great to get positive feedback from women who use DfG kits every month and they obviously are very happy with them.

Thank you everyone – without your amazing help we could not do what we do – our reach is not only to the kids but their families – and you help make it all possible

I am so grateful – thank you!!

 

 

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