A team of women in Coonabarabran have been passionately working to make a positive impact in the world by preparing sustainable sanitary packs through the international “Days for Girls” program.
One hundred locally-produced kits will soon be dispatched to a school in Kenya, which will allow girls to attend school on a daily basis and not miss out on vital education.
Days for Girls empowers and unites women by connecting volunteers and community members to women and girls across the globe in a combined approach, that lifts the status of women and girls.
It is an international organisation established to address the needs of girls and young women who are forced to miss a week of school or work each month because of their menstrual cycle.
The initiative provides access to feminine hygiene, with each kit lasting two to three years and replacing 360 disposable pads.
Looking forward, part of the sustainability is to provide education to women so they can make and sell their own kits within their communities.
At the 2016 Coonabarabran Rotary International Women’s Day event, Patsy Lucas, a former resident who now lives in Uki, spoke about Days for Girls and the involvement of Mt Warning Rotary Club, of which she is president.
From this grew a small, but committed group of women wanting to assist in their own way, resulting in the formation of a Coonabarabran group to support the Mt Warning team.
Time rolled on and the Coonabarabran women, under the guidance of Nancy Wiese, generated opportunities for women to come together regularly and sew.
Mrs Wiese said that while Days for Girls provided resources for those in need, the project was also beneficial to the local community.
“It is an outlet for women, who come from a rich cross-section of our community, to enjoy time together,” Mrs Wiese said.
“The way Days for Girls has enriched our community, it is a gift to us all - women working and learning together, women sharing their stories, women helping other women - that hall is a buzz of voices, laughter and activities each week.
"What a formula for success!”
Barbara Penfold busily sewing shields for the Days for Girls initiative.