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My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period

by My Arms Wide Open
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
My Arms Wide Open and GirlStuff.Period
GirlStuff.Period Manufacturing
GirlStuff.Period Manufacturing

What is the Main Reason Girls Quit School in South Africa?

Why do girls quit schools in developing and underserved countries and communities around the world? It is a valid and highly relevant question both in the interests of girls as well as the communities they live in.

To explain why this happens, I’d like to tell you a short story from one of the girls, we will call ‘Anna’, in a community we work in.

My name is ‘Anna’, and I’m 15 years old and used to attend school in my village in South Africa. We are a poor family and I live with 6 other siblings and my Mother. I know I have a Father, but I have never met him as he lives and works in the city and sometimes sends money but he doesn’t come home.

I was Happy and then...

When I was 13 I was still at school and was playing at break at school, when all of a sudden the boys and some of the girls started laughing and pointing at me. I could not understand what I had done that was so funny.

One of my friends grabbed my arm and pulled me to the ground to sit down, telling me not to sit on my dress, to pull it out from under me. I was confused and scared and started crying, and they kept pointing and laughing and laughing. My dress felt wet, it was strange, and when I looked down I saw blood! I remember screaming. I jumped up and ran out of school and all the way to our small mud brick house.

My Mother heard me crying and came to see what was wrong. She held me and told me this was a normal part of being a girl. I asked if I might die? Mother smiled and said no my dear, you won’t die. This will come each month and it means your body is getting ready to be able to have babies. I was scared and cried and asked if I could stop the blood. My Mother said I could wear a pad and would also have to wear underwear, but we couldn’t afford either of those, so when I had my period I would have to stay home from school. I said I was embarrassed and afraid and did not want to go back. She told me I would be fine and once the period stopped she took me back to school.

The boys pointed and giggled and I felt really embarrassed all day and did not want to play with anyone for a while. The next month, my period came again as my Mother said it would. She had kept me home a few days before this time so I didn’t have an accident again.

Being left behind

When I got back after this period I felt confused in the classroom as they were talking about things I had not learned and I did not understand. My teacher said I should just be quite and listen. I felt lost and over the next few months it got worse. I didn’t fit in. I noticed some of my girl friends were not at school either. After the 6th month, I never went back to school.

So now you know. I hope my story inspires you to help other girls like me, so we can have menstrual supplies, and underwear so we can learn like the boys can learn.

My Arms Wide Open supports the establishment of community based businesses like GirlStuff.Period, so that communities can create the change they’d like to see for themselves.

Please forward this report to your family, friends and the people you know.

If you’d like to help our women in business, consider becoming a volunteer or making a recurring monthly donation.

In gratitude.

GirlStuff.Period Customers
GirlStuff.Period Customers
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Happy People
Happy People

You may be wondering just what the women of Bergnek have been up to... 

It's been a while since we last communicated through our GG Portal and we apologize for the absence. Unfortunately, our email server was hijacked last year and it took as some time to recover it. Good news is, we are back on track and have put additional security measures in place to prevent that happening again and at the same time we also had our web site updated.

The women of GirlStuff.Period have been busy as usual, and they have not waivered once in building and growing their business. As orders are becoming more consistent they have developed a plan to expand their production and hire a few more staff, based on a bigger project the team is bidding on.

The team continue to provide donated menstrual kits to girls who simply cannot afford to buy them and this accounts for about 15% of production, which is a big number and hence the continued need for donations to help offset the costs of the donated menstrual kits.

Spread the word: Help make 2017 another great year for The GirlStuff.Period women entrepreneurs

Please consider forwarding this report to at least 2 of your friends and family.

You should be proud of how you’ve helped the Bergnek Community.

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support. Please remember to forward this report to at least 2 of your friends and family.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

P.S. Watch for us on GlobalGiving Bonus Day, July 14, 2017

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Delegates from the meeting in KwaZulu Natal
Delegates from the meeting in KwaZulu Natal

A NEW PARTNERSHIP

In our previous update we shared the need to expand the GirlStuff business. We are delighted to announce a new partnership with an amazing group of people lead by Farzana Patel and her Xanopia organization. 

Xanopia works to provide a full turnkey solution to socio economic problems by empowering women to be in the forefront of the economic transformation and be agents of social change.  Xanopia is a business entity as well as an organization that aims at improving lives of women and children, mainly in disadvantaged areas.

Xanopia is a regional partner of the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBW) for Africa.  This collaboration is seen as a significant step in achieving women’s economic empowerment in Africa and across the Commonwealth.

As a result of our partnership the GirlStuff Business has gained exposure to new opportunities and audiences. The most recent of which was a presentation to a large group of business, education and community leaders in KwaZula Natal. This is being followed by another meeting in Johannesburg. Take a look at some of the pictures we’ve included from the events. 

We will need help

As with any increase or business growth, especially a new and fledgling business like this, it will take an additional requirement for funds to get things to where they need to be to efficiently fill the new orders we have received.

Make a new donation today? Making a donation of $25 right now, will help children and families in need, in the Bergnek Community. Making it a recurring donation will support the girls of Bergnek all year long.

We really need your support!

Help make 2016 a BIG year for the GirlStuff Team and DONATE NOW! 

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today and pass along this message to your friends and family and anyone who might be able to help! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

Members of the Xanopia team and partners
Members of the Xanopia team and partners
The presentation
The presentation
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The current GirlStuff location
The current GirlStuff location

Growing the Business 

In the past few weeks we've been working with the GirlStuff team to negotiate a new contract that will enable the ladies of Bergnek to increase their production and hire some new staff.

This has been a long road for the GirlStuff Team. They opened negotiations with an institutional buyer about six months ago and although progress has been slow, it has been moving along steadily. They are getting to the final stages of the negotiations in the next 4-6 weeks. This should result in their first large order. Large compared to what they have been doing to date, and still large enough that they will need additional space, machinery and staff to fill the contract over and above the first order.

We will need help

As with any increase or business growth, this will take an additional requirement for funds to get things to where they need to be to efficiently fill a contract such as this. 

"We are all very excited about the opportunity of getting our business to place where we feel it is truly sustainable and we will need money for machinery and raw materials at the start of the contract, once we land it for sure," said Keabetswe, who is the General Manager for Bergnek Community Projects, who helps to manage and support the GirlStuff team.

How about making a new donation today? Making a donation of $25 right now, will help children and families in need, in the Bergnek Community. Making it a recurring donation will support the girls of Bergnek all year long.

We really need your support!

Help make 2016 a BIG year for the GirlStuff Team and DONATE NOW! 

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

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Choose Me!
Choose Me!

Equality and Opportunity

Do you believe that we should all have access to the same opportunities? Do believe that boys and girls should be treated equally and fairly? Well if you answered yes to these questions, you may just be a true feminist.

The women of GirlStuff create access to opportunities for girls

The holiday season a couple of months ago, was a particularly tough one with the severe drought going on in South Africa and with schools closed for the season there was no new activity for the GirlStuff business. Since schools have returned from the break GirlStuff has received enquiries for school uniforms from a school in an adjacent community. We are hoping this turns into an order to keep things moving. We also experienced a 'lull' in new donations which put the halt on manufacturing menstrual kits for girls who cannot afford to purchase the kits themselves.

Although this sounds like a sad situation, which it is, the women of GirlStuff never give up and are working to close more sales so that they can generate the extra cash to help those in need who can’t afford to buy anything, let alone menstrual kits. These amazing women go without a lot and work hard to help their communities as well as to make girls and their parents aware of the products they produce and sell and why they re so passionate about the mission that they are on.

By working to help girls stay in school every school day of each month, the girls are present to have the choice to take advantage of opportunities that are offered to students as well being able to achieve good grades in the STEM subjects, which they miss out on when missing to many days of school. 

Why do they need to make Menstrual Kits for girls?

When we look at our own circumstance in a developed country we often don’t understand how a menstrual kit could make such a huge difference in the life of a girl. When you consider that many of the families in the My Arms Wide Open community of families do not have enough money for three meals a day, then you can start to understand why they can't afford menstrual supplies.

Give girls a chance to take advantage of opportunities they are missing out on.

How about making a new donation today? Making a donation of $25 right now, could change the life of a girl for the rest of her life. Think about that? What an amazing gift that would be to a girl, or any child.

The women of the GirlStuff Cooperative in Bergnek, are determined to expand into other communities in 2016 and they need yours and my help to do it. Money that we raise through your donations will go towards raw materials and additional equipment to be able to set up locations in other communities, to employ additional women.

Industrial sewing machines cost around $1,000 each for a good used machine. In addition to that the GirlStuff team also needs to purchase surgers and raw materials.

Let’s start 2016 with a huge effort and DONATE NOW!                  

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

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Organization Information

My Arms Wide Open

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada
Website:
Project Leader:
Warren Te Brugge
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
$16,373 raised of $45,000 goal
 
590 donations
$28,627 to go
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