Doomadgee ladies sew up hygiene for Papua New Guinean sisters

(Original article posted June 25, 2018 2:00 PM via northweststar.com.au, © 2018)

DOOMADGEE seamstresses have helped make sanitary packs for girls living in remote Papua New Guinea.

About 330 bags, containing washable sanitary pads, underwear, a face cloth, soap, disposable bags for soiled items and an instruction card, will be dropped off at Papua New Guinea next month for school girls living in poor areas.

Each bag will also have a photograph of its Doomadgee creator.

The project – called the moon sick care bag initiative – was founded by Gay Muller to give girls and women access to basic feminine hygiene products.Villagers usually use old rags and coconut fibres as underwear padding.

Girls also need to take time off from school during menstruation because of the problem.

About 20 Doomadgee women signed up to help after hearing about the plight faced by their Papua New Guinean sisters.

My Pathway women’s coordinator Yolonde Entsch said one woman, who had never before used an overlocker, had since sewn 1320 pads.

“That’s worth celebrating,” she said.

“It’s also about creating a business model – the idea that you can actually make products to be sold on.”

The group will soon make another 200 bags for Getaway Trekking.

The packs will be sold to hikers on the Kokoda track for $20 each to give to villagers.

Doomadgee representative Veronica Walden and Anthea Chong will also hand out the bags to girls and women when they visit the country in October.

Ms Walden said she was excited to meet those helped by the group.

“Gay explained it to us about the ladies in the villages, what they use and how they aren’t fortunate to have the things that we have,” she said.

“Even things like getting water, the life they live over there is very difficult.”

The Doomadgee women’s next project is to sew curtains for Papua New Guinean villagers.

For more information about moon sick care bags, visit here.