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Bundaberg ladies join the sisterhood cycle

Karen-Ann Roll and Helen Amos with one of the quilts the Carinbundi day services users have been contributing to. It will be raffled off this Mother's Day.

Helping women in need is something people of all abilities can get behind, particularly on International Women’s Day.

For the past two years, Days for Girls' Bundaberg chapter has been meeting up to sew together reusable sanitary pads for women in third world countries.

Days for Girls is an ‘international sisterhood circle’ that has been ‘turning periods into pathways’ since it was launched in Nairobi in 2008.

Nicole Beasley, who organises the volunteer group here in Bundaberg, said the situation was dire for some women.

“In third world countries some women are forced to use rags which are stained and obviously not hygienic,” she said.

According to Celeste Mergens, CEO of Days for Girls, disadvantaged women in the third world often resort to isolating themselves, sitting on newspaper, cardboard, or anything else suitable during their period. This prompted the launch of the initiative, which sees handmade, reusable pads distributed globally by dedicated volunteers. 

“We’ve got about 10 regulars (Bundaberg volunteers) and a few others who help out when they can and they’re able,” Nicole said.

Amongst the volunteers are Debra, Jennifer, Jeffery and Karen-Ann, NDIS participants who join in every Tuesday and Thursday using Carinbundi’s day services.

Karen-Ann Roll, who used to sew a little as a girl, loves being part of the sisterhood circle with the help of her support worker, Helen Amos.

“They’re very nice ladies,” Karen-Ann said.

“It’s sad because some people overseas don’t get anything (for hygiene).”

Nicole said integrating the small group of people with disability into their volunteering efforts was good for morale.

“It’s great, it gives them a social connection with the community as well and you can just see on their faces that they’re happy to be there,” she said.

The local Days for Girls chapter is looking for new volunteers with good sewing skills to make a difference. Interested volunteers can find the group at the Presbyterian Hall, 9.30-3pm, every third Thursday of the month.

To learn more about Days for Girls, click here. To learn more about International Women’s Day, click here.

About the author

IWC's major focus is to improve and support Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the Bundaberg and Wide Bay / Burnett.

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