Yolonde's Blog

16
Sep

Moon Sick Care Bags: The Power of Partnerships!

Image: Our first school group in March 2019 – Firbank Grammar School! As women we should never underestimate the power of our relationships. Late last year, I had a brief conversation with Laurie Pritchard, Managing Director (and self-professed Disco Queen) at Small World Journeys, about the possibility of working together on the Moon Sick Care Bag project. This wonderful organisation provides educational tours in the tropics for school groups from Australia and overseas. As part of the educational tour, students are invited to participate in a community service project. The opportunity to learn about Moon Sick Care Bags, and sew …

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25
Jul

Moon Sick Care Bags: story celebrated in new short film, ‘A Woman’s Calling’

In October 2018, I had the privilege of taking two beautiful women from Doomadgee across the Torres Strait to deliver 330 Moon Sick Care Bags to extremely disadvantaged women living in the Treaty Villages of Western Province, Papua New Guinea.  It was the culmination of an 18-month project that saw a group of women from this remote Aboriginal community embrace the opportunity to help their sisters in PNG, who do not even have the most basic resources to manage menstruation hygienically or effectively.  When I saw the determination and commitment in the eyes of the Doomadgee ladies and then held …

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29
May

28th May is Menstrual Hygiene Day; #ItsTimeForAction!

From curdling mayonnaise to making men bald, sickening babies or killing flowers with a touch, myths about women’s ‘dos and don’ts’ while menstruating exist the world over. Thankfully, a topic that for thousands of years has been considered taboo is now becoming more and more acceptable, to the extent that today – 28 May – we are recognising world Menstrual Hygiene Day. Who would have thought that so many mixed feelings and messages exist about what is a natural and beautiful part of being a woman? My amazing mum, who this month turned 70, has only recently become comfortable talking …

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14
Dec

Moon Sick Care Bags: the answer to keeping girls in school

Every women and adolescent girl, regardless of where they live or how affluent they are, should have access to hygienic sanitary products and information about reproductive health. Using old rags, toilet tissue, banana leaves or coconut fibre to manage menstruation is totally unacceptable. But this is the reality facing extremely disadvantaged women and adolescent girls living in remote villages in Papua New Guinea, as I was shocked to discover while volunteering aboard a YWAM Medical Ship outreach in early 2017. Learning of their struggles to access safe and hygienic sanitary products, combined with cultural taboos which can require women to …

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14
Dec

Prime Minister of Australia … Why Not!

Australians will achieve true equality the day an Aboriginal woman leads our country, domestically and internationally, as Prime Minister. A shocking thought? It is for many men and women who I have asked the question “what do you think about an Aboriginal woman as Prime Minister of Australia”. Men mostly respond with “that will never happen” or “you’ve got to be joking” but interestingly women tend to respond with something like “wow, can you imagine”. Yes, I can imagine but will it be in my lifetime, probably not. The question is confrontational and a good check as to where you …

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14
Dec

PNG: 5 women die in childbirth every day

Can you imagine giving birth on a beach, using a shell to cut your newborn’s umbilical cord? Or how about birthing in the scrub, laying on dirt and using an old rusty razor instead of a scalpel to cut the cord. Sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, not!! This is the experience of many women living in remote and isolated areas of Papua New Guinea – Australia’s closest neighbour. Maternal health, access to midwives and hospitals is a luxury afforded mostly to women living in major centres, even then we, as Australian, would be horrified with the conditions. Sadly, 5 women …

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PARTNERSHIPS ARE IMPORTANT
TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE LIFE CHANGING WORK

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