Vision Sisters is a practical way for us to stand by our sisters in the world’s poorest countries, providing them with clean birthing kits and the support of trained volunteer community health workers*.
As much as I might imagine in another life I could be one of those people who heads off to a far-flung corner of the world to build a school/teach children/offer aid of some description – in this life it’s very unlikely this will come to pass… but that doesn’t mean I sit easily with being idle and not doing anything. I have dabbled in fundraising in the past, but calling on friends for cold hard cash has never sat easily with me. And while I am sure entering a fun run would do wonders for my health – again, who am I really helping (other than obviously the fundraising bit).
And then Vision Sisters came along. Finally something tangible – something that involved actual “doing” in a way that also involved not just me, but my tribe; with outcomes we could see and identify with.
So if you’d actually like to “do” something then read on – as today a group of friends and I built birthing kits which are destined for Uganda and will help 200 mums deliver their babies in a much more hygienic way… with a few simple tools.
A few months ago I put a call out on my personal Facebook page – wondering if 9 friends might be interested in joining me in each donating $100 towards the components of 200 birthing kits that we would then assemble as a group and then send on to places like Uganda. The response was overwhelming – everyone who commented on my post wanted to donate and everyone wanted to also take part in the assembly – and so quite quickly I had more than the minimum $1000 required to take part ($600 covers the cost of the kits, the freight and the rest of the money goes towards training/supporting the community health workers in Uganda, Afghanistan or The Democratic Republic of Congo).
200 Ugandan women will receive the kits that we assembled. All of us in the room today were in complete awe of the bravery and strength that our “sisters” will be faced with when it is time to use their kit.
Holding these meagre components in our gloved hands (3 pieces of string, 5 pieces of gauze, a sterile scalpel blade, a plastic sheet, a 7gm piece of soap and a pair of rubber gloves) we were all humbled at the thought that this was all our Ugandan sisters had access too… so completely different to our experiences. Yet these little kits make a huge impact – not just in their physicality, but also in the process of accessing the kit our Ugandan (and Afghanistan or The Democratic Republic of Congo) sisters now receive maternal health support – and education that helps keep them and their babies healthy and much more.
We have so much education and support surrounding pregnancy, birth and our babies first years in Australia that it is actually impossible to imagine.
The assembly line took us just shy of 2 hours all up (and that included time for a cup of tea and cake beforehand).
When we finished and the two boxes of kits were packed and weighed we looked at the boxes and one of the mums said “that’s hopefully 200 healthy babies we are looking at” and I am pretty certain that I was not alone in packing 200 virtual hugs into those boxes.
So from me, on behalf of today’s little crew, I hope our sisters in Uganda have a safe and happy arrival of their most precious baby. xxxxx
If you’d like to know more about the program and maybe organise your own Vision Sisters event then read more here.
Vision Sisters is an initiative of World Vision done in partnership with the Birthing Kit Foundation. I would like to thank Concept Amenities for very kindly providing the soap for our birthing kits. I’m proud to be a World Vision blog ambassador.
*World Vision proudly support over 220,000 Community Health Workers in WV communities – so the funding goes to a range of countries and communities that are in most need.