Soroptimist International clubs throughout the South West Pacific focus on projects which will improve the lives of women and girls in their communities, these are local projects which have a global impact.
World Health Day 7 April - focus for 2017 is "Depression - Lets Talk"
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
SI Lautoka (Fiji)
Suicide Prevention - Connect, Communicate, Care
Suicide is a worrying trend in Fiji. Suicide has jumped up to the third leading cause of death among youth (under 16) and those aged between 17 and 25 years. The National Suicide Prevention Day 2016 was on 10 September and most schools around the country had special programs to raise awareness on this issue.
Gurukul Primary school invited SI Lautoka to be a part of the program. Members marched with the students to open the program, as a guest speaker SI Lautoka advocated on suicide prevention initiatives to the whole school. Students were advised on the importance of the 2016 theme - 'Connect, Communicate and Care'. They were advised to be; sensitive to their friends, help their friends if they have difficulties, share their problems with their teachers and parents. Students and teachers were informed of the free child helpline which has been set up by the Government to assist all children and young people who are in need of advice, support, care and protection. Sautoka wanted the information to reach the students so that they are aware of whom to turn to in time of need. SI Lautoka called on the teachers to be more vigilant and pay more attention to their students so they can sense if students require any help.
SI Labasa (Fiji)
Pinktober Breast, Cervical and Prostate Cancer Awarness Workshop
A visit to Korokadi Bua highlighted to members of SI Labasa that women in this remote area were not aware of cancer awarness nor pinktober. Planning with the principal of the Korokadi Primary School Mr Sanjay Kumar, who agreed that we could use his school premises for the venue and he also agreed to send out written invitations to the parents of the students of his school requesting them to attend this much needed workshop. Planning then started with the Ministry of Health to provide support in making the workshop a success.The doctors and support staff of the Ministry came all the way from Nabouwalu Hospital to conduct this workshop at Korokadi Primary School. The Health staff did basic medical screening (i.e. checked for blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index-BMI) for all the participants, club members and school staff. Dr Ms Vika Vuniwa explained to everyone why this screening is necessary and she briefly touched on NCDs. She then gave a very detailed talk on all about breast, cervical and prostate cancer. A very constructive interaction session also took place between the doctor and the participants. Flyers were distributed to the participants on breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Doctor Vika insisted upon all men present be checked for prostate cancer and the women to get their papsmere testing done if they have not had this done for the last three years. There were five people detected during screening who had high sugar level and they have been advised by the doctors to go to the Nabouwalu Hospital for further tests. We are proud of the fact that through this workshop we may be able to save these five people (3 of whom were women) from diabetes effects in future.
SI Townsville Breakwater (Australia)
Mother and Baby Care Packs
The goal was to provide baby care items for birthing mothers in rural Papua New Guinea, mothers and teenage girls go to rural health centres to give birth, they don't have baby care items with them to care for their new born babies. Baby care packs consisting of cotton nappies, baby blankets, baby towels, baby soap, safety pins, baby clothing (singlet, plastic pants, all in one suits), shampoo & baby creams were assembled. SI Townsville Breakwater organised a container to ship the goods to Papua New Guinea. A SI Townsville Breakwater member travelled to PNG to oversee the distribution of the packs. These items enable the women to properly care for their newborn babies and in so doing we alleviate incidents of child mortality. Assists disadvantaged women and teenage girls to properly care for their children at the initial stage of their life
SI Brisbane (Australia)
139 Maternity Project
The Chief Executive Officer of 139 Club (Respite for Homelessness) approached SI Brisbane about a family of two Indigenous clients and their two teenagers who had recently been rehoused after a lengthy time of homelessness. The mother was pregnant and baby was due in November 2016. The request was to supply a given list of requirements for the newborn baby. List of goods requested were numerous includig: baby bottles and teats (the plan is to breastfeed but express at times), bottle steriliser, bottle warmer, breast pump, newborn nappies, nappy wipes, breast pads, maternity pads, wash cloths, baby wraps – muslin as will be born in warmer months, Sorborlene cream, Bepanthem or sudocreme, cotton wool, baby bath, baby shampoo, nail clippers, Thermometer, bibs, burping cloths, baby monitor, high chair, baby bath, baby ramp for bath (mum has trouble bending under weight). Club members were able to source all the requested goods, and present them to the family in person. Positive feedback was received, and the club members had knowledge in knowing that the mother was able to bring the baby home and concentrate on its welfare, and not on financial burden.
SI Geelong (Australia)
Bedding and Toiletry Kit
This is a joint project working with Andrew Edgar, the coordinator of the Barwon Housing and Homelessness Support Service. After hearing Andrew talk about the needs of homeless women and children in the Geelong area, often as a result of domestic violence SI Geenlong was keen to give some practical assistance. SI Geenlong devised a “Bedding and Toiletry Kit” for women and children who are forced to leave their homes with very little and are being accommodated in emergency housing for various degrees of time.
The initial project resulted in 5 adult packages and 10 children’s package, which will include a doona, sheet sets, pillows, towels, and toiletries, all parcelled to-gether in a colourful bag. The recipients of these packages will be able to keep the goods when they leave their accommodation.
A number of our members have already donated sheet sets, towels and pillows and we are holding a number of functions to fund the purchasing of the re-mainder of the contents.
SI Edernet (Mongolia)
Improving Dental Hygiene
Disabled children did not receive any dental check ups or education about the prevention of cavities and this could have a detrimental effect on their well being. A three pronged approach was devised for this project.
1. Children were given dental checks and extractions or fillings were done by dentists within our membership Children had fluoride gels on their teeth for remineralisation of enamel.
2. Eight books about dental health were printed and given to guardians and local health practitioners and teachers.
3. Video schooling on correct hygiene methods and the need for regular check ups was undertaken for teachers and guardians.
This project will see improved dental hygiene and health and fewer cavities as children were given a toothbrush each as well as gel. We wish to see more children having dental health and learning to help care for their own teeth or their carers using correct techniques when assisting them.