Empowering Women, Meeting Needs: inspired by my trip to PNG

Mel PNG 008 (800x600) (800x600)

So It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I have been working on a few things in the background.  And I am so amazed and excited about a little project to bring life to women and girls.

Want to know what it is?…..

While I was in PNG last month…oh wait…over a month ago.. (wow time really does fly!)  I went looking for a project.   I was looking specifically for something that would engage hearts, minds and hands  I have an amazing friend who is a gifted writer and blogger who has mobilized and inspired hundreds of people with projects like “Bloggers-for-birth-kits”  “Project Baby Billum” and raising money for a Solar Suitcase with “The Sunshine Project”.  You can check out her blog at http://adrielbooker.com/.

With these type of projects in mind, and the fact that I am a part of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), who love to get everyday Mum’s involved in community projects, I realised if could find a need the reality is I really do have the means and networks to do something about it!

So with my heart for mothers and women I asked the midwife, Michelle, who was on our outreach if she had any ideas of what would be of benefit.  Her answer was that “a few of the mums had asked if we had any pads.”   Of course!!  Feminie hygiene is a need that every girl and woman has!

I immediately began researching environmentally friendly washable options and found heaps of designs and patterns.

At this point I enlisted the help of a couple of friends, Adriel being one of them,  to help do a little research for me.  Over the next few weeks I was trialling and making a few different styles and I wasn’t completely happy with what I had and really needed a bit more research done.  Then Adriel came across an organisation called Days for Girls that was the answer to my prayers and an exact fit for what I was trying to do!

Then we discovered that there was a few chapters in Australia and the Queensland chapter for Days for Girls was actually in Townsville!  We’ve met and shared our passion and shared how amazing people are getting behind this project already with donations and materials!

This project has the potential to change lives, distributing the kits also opens up the lines of communication and education around reproductive and sexual health and giving girls and women dignity and opportunity for education and value.  We’ve discovered through the Ship outreaches that there is certainly a need for good education on these topics in PNG.

So on Sunday the 13th of October if you are in Townsville I, along with our local Days for Girls representative, will be hosting a Days for Girls Sewing Bee from 12 – 3pm at the YWAM base on Ingham Rd.  Let me know if you want to come!

If you can’t come but want to join in go to the Days for Girls website and grab the patterns and make some kits!

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4 thoughts on “Empowering Women, Meeting Needs: inspired by my trip to PNG

  1. Well done,
    I have only recently come across Days for girls, because of an article in the Spotlight magazine. A group of fairly geographically distant women have got together and started sewing. Ladies in Rockingham (south of Perth) have become a formal chapter. They now have sewing days on the first Saturday of the month at the Baptist Church down there. The group I started with and continue with, recently sent 40 kits with a friend who was travelling to Jordan. In Jordan the 3rd largest “city” is a refugee camp with over 150,000 people.
    This is something that has grabbed the hearts and imaginations of people all over. One of the great things to read, is that with pattern and some donations, women in Malawi, Zimbabwe and probably many other places have started making the kits themselves..
    My sewing room is filling with donated material, and I think there is a possibility of women in a retirement village taking on some sewing. To be followed up.

    • Thanks Gwynne, yes I think that the chapter here in Townsville also started because of that article in the spotlight magazine! It’s so awesome how something so seemingly simple and practical can really make a difference! Great work!

  2. Loved reading your blog which I came across because of a comment from Gwynne in Perth. Days for Girls in Australia started in April last year when my friend, Lois (a kiwi) was visiting. Lois runs a children’s home in Kitgum, Northern Uganga. I had visited her several times in Uganda but had never asked the question of what girls did for feminine hygiene supplies. We started researching last year and came across the Days for Girls USA website. I started making kits just for Lois, but since then, DfG Australia has just taken off!!! We did an article for the Spotlight Magazine and another has been been in the Rotary DownUnder Magazine. I’ve been amazed how God has organised all of this so quickly and still have trouble keeping up with new people who want to start sewing groups and requests from the most amazing NGOs. I’ve just returned from Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda where there were numerous opportunities to share the Days for Girls concept. You are right… something so simple is making a world of difference for girls in places where supplies of what we take for granted are not readily available. Would you have any objections to be using your story for another magazine that is asking questions – called Ruby. It’s stories like yours that keep the many volunteer sewing groups encouraged.
    Have you ‘liked’ at our Days for Girls Australia facebook page?
    Gloria Buttsworth
    Newcastle

    • Hi Gloria,

      I love hearing about how God weaves things altogether – everyone has a journey! I too have been surprised at how many people have caught the vision and are running with it. Of course it helps that Days for Girls has done so much leg work and it is all so easily accessible!

      I’d be happy for you to use my article in the magazine.. how can I get a copy of it??

      and yes I have liked the DfG Australia page… (I thought I had earlier.. but definitely just did now ;)!

      We are holding another Sewing Bee tomorrow and I will have more photos and stories to share after that!

      Have a great day!
      Melissa Davies

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