Delighted to report that Co-Presidents Joan and Jillian will continue with the project for another year.
At the Club meeting on Monday 22 February members worked on packing the kits. At the end of the evening we presented Diane with 50 packs which will be sent to Ibba in the near future. Delighted to report that 100 kits have been completed to date and work continues on making the shields and liners.
IBBA PROJECT, SOUTH SUDAN
At one of our meetings, Diane Graham, (member of SI Lurgan) shared her experiences of visits to South Sudan where she delivers health education and explained to the Club that she hoped to distribute kits for the girls on her next visit.
In South Sudan the education of a complete generation has been disrupted by decades of war. Girls in particular face formidable cultural and economic barriers. Most girls in South Sudan drop out of schooling by the age of 10 years due to domestic pressures and can end up married or pregnant before they have even left childhood. A girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in childbirth than complete primary education. Diane outlined that not having sanitary supplies means days without school, days without income and days without leaving the house. Girls use leaves, mattress stuffing and newspaper, anything they can find….but can still miss up to 2 months of school every year. The girls worldwide suffer indignities, infection, even exploitation trying to stay in school. Every girl in the world deserves education, safety and dignity.
After hearing the above, members in the Club were very interested in becoming involved with this project as it is very much in keeping with the values and objectives of Soroptimism. Thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of our co-presidents we were soon organised. Eleanor facilitates and supervises the making of the kits with all Club members involved in various aspects of the kits and even card making. Perfection is the name of the game!!!
Members have been cutting, stitching, threading, supplying, assembling and of course chatting, along with a wee cup of tea/coffee! Each colourful and pretty kit contains an outer bag, 2 plastic bags, 2 pairs of pants, a flannel, small bar of soap, 2 shields, 8 liners and an instruction diagram. The items are all washable and should last approximately 3 years. A beautiful hand-made card is also enclosed with a short message from a member.
To date 40 complete kits have been made for distribution to the girls in Ibba, South Sudan. Diane had planned a visit for August 2015 but this has had to be postponed until January 2016 due to unrest in the area. Following the summer break we will be commencing crafting again to complete the remaining 40 kits as 80 girls are at the school.
Delighted to report that Regional President Karen, whilst attending the International Conference in Istanbul, met Celeste Mergens, Executive Director and Founder of Days for Girls, and was able to tell her about the ‘kit making’ in Lurgan Club.
It has certainly made us appreciate how privileged our lives are. Making the kits has been a time of great fun and friendship whilst doing something practical that will be life transforming for each girl who receives one.
On 18 September Diane advised that ‘10’ packs have been sent to Nigeria and 7 packs went to Togo on 30 September.
This issue is a surprising but instrumental key to social change for women all over the world. The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school. Days for Girls is an international non-profit organisation which has developed sustainable feminine hygiene kits for direct distribution to women and girls in over 75 countries on 6 continents. Its vision is that every girl and woman in the world will have ready feasible access to quality sustainable hygiene and health education by 2022.
LURGAN LIGHTS PROJECT
The 3 year Project, Lurgan Lights in conjunction with Camfed, was completed with £6,200 being raised which enabled the purchase of 878 solar lights being purchased to assist girls in the Gambia with their education. Please read the full report – Camfed Report on Lurgan Lights – March 2016