Meet some volunteers who are partnering with HandUp Congo
As four self-funded HandUp Congo volunteers head to DRC on Feb 28, they are carrying bags filled with an assortment of odd items, from soccer balls donated by Football Federation Australia to feminine hygiene kits. Many volunteers have helped the team prepare for this journey to Lotumbe, Equateur Province. They include Danielle Edwards, born in France, who arrived in Australia in 1969. She went to Uganda in 2009 with Newcastle NSW-based Gloria Buttsworth and other ladies. “While there, we became aware of the need to find a way to help the women with feminine hygiene and lack of sanitary pads,” recalls Danielle. “A few years later Gloria rang me (as we now live in two different states) to talk about what she found on a American website about making washable pads. We started sewing and looking for helpers. At the beginning of February 2014, Gloria rang to see if I would be able to translate some of the instructions from Days for Girls (daysforgirls.org) in French, [for HandUp Congo team members] to take to Congo. I gave it my best and enjoyed the challenge. Would love to see the girls receiving them one day.”
Danielle and Gloria are part of a global network of volunteers who sew and distribute sustainable feminine hygiene kits in 70 nations across six continents.
The HandUp Congo travel team will introduce the Days for Girls hygiene kits and possible income generating models to Congolese community leaders in early March. Merci beaucoup as well to translators Nathalie and Viviane Suet and Anne Fouché for their assistance in preparing community development materials.