Some news from some local women is copied below about a fundraiser this Sunday for a Women's Health Centre in Cambodia.
Also, note in your diary now, there will be another Hepburn Hollow bushfire preparation working bee on 28 November. Full details next week (though you probably know the drill by now anyway)...
"A fundraiser is being held on Sunday 14th November to collect items for a group of five local women and three children to take over to a Women's Health Centre in Cambodia where they will volunteer for a few weeks.
For women in Cambodia, “crossing the river” (giving birth) is seen as the most dangerous day in a woman's life. Extreme poverty, nutritional challenges, isolation, ill equipped hospitals and lack of knowledge about warning signs in pregnancies all contribute to Cambodia's high maternal mortality rates.
Denise Love, a registered nurse and midwife from Sydney and her husband Gary self funded the Women's Health Centre in Takao, which officially opened on 1 August 2010. In the first eight weeks over 800 women were seen. Denise says that “Whilst we first went to Cambodia with the intention of supporting pregnant and birthing women, it became obvious that we also needed to start with basic life skills. The villages we have been visiting and talking with are asking for some very basic help such as how to access clean water, reducing diarrhea, help with coughs and how to grow fruit and vegetables. We are also opening a small school for 5-7 year olds on December 1 2010. A local 16 year old Khmer boy is going to be the teacher and is looking for any support we can give him. It is a school for daily living skills.” Denise is now living in Takao and plans to stay there until the centre and school are able to run successfully and sustainably without her there.
Denise has been coming to Daylesford during the past year to train doulas or birth attendants. Minna Graham, Maggie von Glesch and Jacinta Saunders are all doulas travelling over to work with Denise in the centre. Selena McVeigh and Joe Arrow are horticulturists joining the volunteer team to help plan and implement a food and medicine garden at the health centre and also plan to set up a seed bank.
The fundraiser is being organised to collect donations of needed items that can be taken over by the volunteer team in their backpacks. Items needed include packets of gauze squares, cotton wool, disposable gloves, rubber gloves, wound dressings, any basic bandages, tennis balls for schools, colouring pencils and pens, wooden toys, books for children, and used childrens back packs filled with pencils, pens and paper, string balls, toothbrushes for children, B&B soaps, undies girl sizes 3-14 any woman’s sizes, baby singlets, non-hybrid seeds. Any cash donations are very welcome! $2 would buy a village family a chicken, $45 would sponsor a midwives wages for a month, $25 would sponsor a midwife to attend a conference. Donations can be either collected at the fundraiser or deposited straight into the Relief Fund. ANZ Surry Hills, NSW a/c name LifeOptions Inc. – Cambodia Relief Fund BSB 012487 a/c # 250001495.
The fundraiser is being held at the Hepburn Springs Reserve Playground at 2pm on Sunday 14th November. There will be lots of empty backpacks there ready to be filled with donations. The girls have a luggage allowance of 160kg. If the weather is rainy the backup venue will be the Palais. We look forward to seeing you there!
For further information on this project please check out www.lifeoptions.asia"