SI Project Stories October

SI Townsville Breakwater, North Queensland,
Australia

Mother and Baby Pack

 

In rural Papua New Guinea many women and teenage
girls visit the rural health centres to give birth, and many of them do not have baby care items for their new born babies. SI Townsville Breakwater provided free
baby care items for birthing mothers and teenage girls.

Lydia, from SI Townsville Breakwater organised a shipping
container of various goods to be shipped to Papua New Guinea and club members went
to Papua New Guinea to distribute the mother and baby packs. The items help many disadvantaged women and teenage
girls to properly care for their children at such a crucial stage of their life.

Marianne, a nurse at the rural Health Centre helped
to organise the packing of baby items into small packages before distributing
to the mothers. Upon opening the boxes, she was in tears and  told the club that what SI of Townsville Breakwater had done would really make a difference to the women.

 

 

SI on Devon, New Zealand

Supporting Ina & Tina

 

In 2015 the family home of Tina and Ina was destroyed in an
earthquake, forcing them to sleep rough or seek shelter in neighbours’ homes.
Their father and step-mother are not interested in their welfare.  SI On
Devon agreed to financially support Ina and Tina by paying for their board
with the Sisters of Charity of St Anne’s in Nepal and all their
schooling expenses. ChoraChori, a charity which works with Nepal’s displaced
and trafficked children, has agreed to take responsibility overseeing the
girls’ welfare in Nepal. The two young girls will be provided with a safe
environment in which to grow up and be well educated.

ChoraChori reports to SI On Devon regularly. The girls are
happily living in a safe environment, enjoying school with the support of the
Sisters of Charity of St Anne’s and like living with other previously homeless
young people. The Sisters also send regular updates and photos showing how well
the girls are adapting to safe community life. SI On Devon is planning to raise
funds to continue this project.

SI Niigata-Nishi, Japan

Let’s play in Santopia World! 

Members of SI Niigata-Nishi became foster mothers for a day
to orphaned and abused girls, living in Niigata Prefectural Wakakusa-ryo care
home, to give them the opportunity to enjoy close family relationships. They
organized a day out called ‘Let’s play in Santopia Worlld!’ and took the girls
to a theme park on 27 October. They formed ‘mother and daughter’ pairs for the
day and together could enjoy the rides, have lunch and talk with each other.
‘Let’s play in Santopia World’ is the third such event that the club has held;
previous events were, ‘Let’s take the Shinkansen!’, ‘Let’s go to the Safari
Park!’ and ‘Let’s go to the Aquarium!’.

As this is an ongoing project, SI Niigata-Nishi wanted to
see the participants’ growth and changes, particularly regarding behaviour, how
they interacted, and those who had participated in previous excursions. Despite
a thundershower that morning, the girls seemed very excited to be going on the
excursion, they were well prepared with changes of clothes and raincoats.
Members realized how anxiously the girls had been waiting for the excursion and
to have fun out of the care home. They noticed that the girls table manners had
improved and felt that they understood something of family-like warmth by their
body language, such as leaning against their ‘mothers’ and hugging them.

SI Niigata-Nishi aims to continue this project and hopes to
expand the age range of participants up to mid –teens, currently the age limit
is restricted to under twelves, so that more girls may have the opportunity to
join activities like this and experience a homely atmosphere. It is hoped that
these activities bring the girls enjoyment. When the group returned to the
home, the girls said that they had a very good time and were looking forward to
another opportunity next year. A few days later, SI Niigata-Nishi received
thank you notes with delightful drawings from each of the girls.

SI Garforth Elmet, UK

Making Safe Relationships at University

 

SI Garforth Elmet attended the freshers’ fair at Leeds
Trinity University and distributed 500 ‘Loves Me Loves Me Not’ bookmarks to
mainly to female students. They had discussions with some of the students about
the issues and listened to their experiences.

The project aimed to educate women and girls to empower them
to make safe relationships on entering university and to enable them to make
good decisions. It was chosen as part of the ongoing work of the SI Yorkshire
Anti-Slavery Group to raise awareness of possible violence against women and
their sexual exploitation. Fresher students were identified as being vulnerable
as it usually is their first year away from home for the first time and they
are eager to make relationships.

SI Garforth Elmet had raised awareness amongst 500 students
mostly female but also some male. A returning student had received a bookmark
last year and reported that she had used it as a basis for discussion with her
boyfriend and they had found it very useful.

SI Madurai, India (partnership with the Sogo Trust)

Hygiene Programme for Tribal Children

 

SI Madurai sought to address problems associated with
menstrual health and hygiene practices amongst 30 adolescent girls in a rural,
tribal region of Madurai, India.

Menstruation is generally considered as unclean in the
Indian society, causing girls who are menstruating to be isolated. There is a
substantial gap in the knowledge about menstruation amongst adolescent girls,
such as the use of sanitary pads and adequate washing during menstruation.

During the programme, it was revealed that 90% of the girls
who attended were using old cloths as sanitary pads. Topics covered in the
talks included knowledge of menstruation, Good Touch Bad Touch, menstrual
practices and quality of life. It is hoped that menstrual hygiene and knowledge
on menstruation will contribute to greater women empowerment.

SI Vista and North County Inland California, USA

Public Speaking Human Trafficking

 

For the past ten years, SI Vista and North County Inland
California has been holding an awareness event and walk each January in
downtown Vista. The event raises awareness about human trafficking,
specifically the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Soroptimist Kaye Van
Nevel regularly speaks about human trafficking, providing take-home information
about what to look for in a potential victim and how to respond by contacting
law enforcement. Kaye uses current data during her presentations and encourages
participation from the attendees. Kays encourages family members to use her
pamphlets to begin open discussions on the topic of human trafficking. When
speaking to students, she offers emergency contact information, and invites
them to attend the North San Diego County Anti-Human Trafficking Collaborative
meetings, which she facilitates bi-monthly in Vista.

Soroptimist International of Downtown Redding, USA

Beach towels for Camp HOPE

Camp HOPE is the first ever dedicated camping programme in
the United States which focuses on children exposed to domestic violence and
related physical and sexual abuse. SI Downtown Redding found that children
exposed to violence are 11 times more likely to physically or verbally abuse
their peers, three times more likely to drop out of high school and four times
more likely to be placed in juvenile detention centres or psychiatric
hospitals.

The camp serves 100 Shasta County youth, aged 8-15 years,
who have been victims of domestic and/or sexual violence. Using social media,
the club gathered 100 brand new beach towels to donate to the children
participating in our local Camp HOPE. Attendance at the camp enables them to
enjoy outdoor activities, learn that they are not defined by their history and
to trust others again. Many participants of the camps later become counsellors
to younger children who attend the camps, as a way to "pay it
forward".

It is found that this project was very easy to organise and
club hope it will become an annual event.

SoroptimistInternational

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