Over this past semester our Year 8 girls have been investigating what life is like for girls in situations very different to our own, such as those who experience poverty, forced child labour, etc. They have been identifying what is ‘normal’ by our standards and what is ‘fair and not fair’ in terms of access to basic human rights. As part of this focus on December 1st we held our annual Year 8 social action day where the girls volunteered their time to support the charity ‘Days for Girls’. Days for girls is a not-for profit social justice project that helps girls regain dignity, health, and equality in educational outcomes through providing access to sustainable feminine hygiene products for girls across 77 developing countries.
There was overwhelming support from our Year 8 families who donated countless items to enable the project to happen. Then on 1 December the girls spent the entire day sewing, cutting out patterns, ironing and packing the kits. The girls were absolutely outstanding. Right from the word go the energy from the girls was high and they were determined to make a real difference through their efforts. They invested considerable effort into their packing, sewing, folding, ironing, and sorting and took a lot of pride in making sure we were producing a gift that we could be proud of giving to our sisters in need. They all worked tirelessly and could be heard encouraging each other when they were getting weary.
We were lucky enough to have state leader of Days for Girls Michelle Gates spend the first few hours of the day with us. She mentioned that she has worked with a lot of young women across Melbourne in her role, and that she was particularly impressed with the respectful and mature manner the girls spoke to her with, the friendliness that they displayed to each other, and their genuine understanding and compassion for others less fortunate. In particular, she said that we should be immensely proud of the calibre of young women we are producing here. I told her that we certainly were! Our kits are about to be shipped off to the Syrian refugees and to the South Sudanese refugees. By the end of the day, the girls were exhausted and elated that they could make such a practical difference to those in need.
by Liz Cutter, Year 8 Girls Level Co-ordinator