HAVING access to sanitary items is something that many of us take for granted, but a group of locals are tackling this issue head-on by picking up a sewing machine and making a range of women’s sanitary items that are being donated to women across the world.
The Goulburn Valley Days for Girls group, which currently consists of 20 members, began their quest a year ago, making specialised kits that include homemade shields with a waterproof inside, liners and bags as well as underwear, a face cloth, travel soap and instructions on how to use the items.
The local group have delivered 350 kits over the past 12 months and have 50 kits ready to send to Uganda and 50 kits primed for the Marshall Islands.
Goulburn Valley Days for Girls team leader, Mary Connelly-Gale said, “I was introduced to the cause by another woman when my husband and I were living in Melbourne. We did a bit of travelling and when we came back to Shepparton I realised that there wasn’t a Days for Girls team nearby, so I called up a couple of friends and word travelled and we began our group.
“These items are so important for the women who receive them. Often in some countries women don’t have access to sanitary items to assist when they have their period, and it is a bit of a taboo in some areas, so to have access to washable items is life-changing for them.
“We’ve had some wonderful feedback from those who were given the kits. We had a girl relay to a deliverer how happy she was to be receiving this because it meant she could go to school when she has her period.
“It’s not just third world countries that need these items. We have provided kits to homeless women, Indigenous and refugees who need them as well.
“It’s a very rewarding thing to be able to be involved in.
“We’re so grateful to have such amazing support from local service clubs such as local Lions clubs, the CWA and Soroptimist group as well as other individuals who have been so generous in helping us.”
The group meets on the second Thursday and fourth Saturday of the month at the Tatura Senior Citizens Centre.
For further information on how to get involved, contact Mary on 0484 332 397.