GirlStuff™ is taking bigger steps in Bergnek
It's been an exciting year for our GirlsStuff™ and in July this year we made the decision to change the name and amend our trademark for GirlStuff.Period to be more simply GirlStuff™. We have more to share and want to thank each of our contributors for their ongoing support of both the community's and our ongoing efforts.
Meeting the Standards
There is so much activity taking place that is supporting the GirlStuff business and the Bergnek Community's goals to create additional employment through the project.
To support the business we also invested in getting the products tested by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and submitted our samples for testing in June of this year. Just recently we received the report back and passed, or as the SABS put it ‘complied’, with flying colours, after making a couple of minor adjustments to increase absorbency.
GirlStuff in the News
On Nelson Mandela day (July 18th) this year we funded a community day in Bergnek and eTV South Africa was out visiting our ladies working away at GirlStuff as well as the community in general. Our very own, Keabetswe was featured in the segment, which aired on DSTV in South Africa, channel 403 on Friday August 2nd, 2013 and also aired on SKY in the UK a few weeks later. The piece was very well received and generated a number of new leads for us and supported some that we have been working on.
Following the broadcast we have been very busy in the past few months. We’ve acquired new customers and are working on a few more both in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The great news is that as we complete negotiations and secure the new contracts for longer term supply of the menstrual kits we will be able to employ more women in the Bergnek Community.
Together, we can do this and support a highly disadvantaged community to sustain itself in the long term. Thank you for your ongoing support
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Here’s where we need your help: Next steps are for us to increase capacity with the purchase of additional equipment, supplies and cash resources to support anticipated new contracts and orders.
Can you make a donation today and perhaps make it a recurring donation? The women and children of Bergnek are grateful for all of the support you have give them.
Thank you for your continued support of the women and children of the Bergnek Community and the My Arms Wide Open programs.
Take the step and sponsor the 'My Arms Wide Open & Pads4Girls' program in Bergnek.
For more info and to donate now, TAKE ACTION and visit our Canadian Donation Page to start your donation now and get involved in your communities to support families, women and children to change their futures.
If you are in the United States and need to make a donation and get a tax receipt please visit our GlobalGiving 'My Arms Wide Open & Pads4Girls' donation page, to make your donation to support the communities we are working in.
Bergnek, Limpopo - GirlStuff™
We arrived in Bergnek on a Saturday of what was going to be a marathon 9 days setting up three businesses, including building the first My World In a Garden® vertical garden, training the community to manufacture SafeSIPP™ water barrels, and how to manufacture and market the Menstrual Kits, launching the GirlStuff.Period business.
The initial phase of the project has been to supply pre-made kits to the girls in the community of Bergnek and a small inventory, while teaching the women of Bergnek how to make the menstrual kits and run their business. This first order and the starting inventory were supplied through the generous donations of our supporters and the wonderful people at Pads4Girls affiliate, AFRIPads, in Uganda.
As with each of the community businesses My Arms Wide Open® supports, we are committed to working right along side GirlStuff.Period for a minimum of 5 years to ensure they have the support and skills they need to create and sustain a successful business, a community-based business that makes and supplies washable, reusable menstrual products so that young girls can stay in school.
People are talking
We’ve been spreading the word with the people we meet and talk to and have already received commitments of support from the Polokwane regional councilor, July Mokwenjama and the teachers in the local schools. In addition to that we have already started receiving orders from a number of people and organizations for GirlStuff.Period Menstrual Kits. The demand is here and very evident.
How can you help the women of GirlStuff.Period?
There are still needs. My Arms Wide Open has been able to provide GirlStuff.Period with the raw materials and supplies to manufacture approximately 1,000 menstrual kits working with the machinery they currently have.
In order for GirlStuff.Period to be able to build a sustainable business that can meet the demand in the local market they need the funds to do the following:
- Purchase 2 more industrial sewing machines
- Purchase 2 industrial surgers (over-locking) machines
- Purchase raw materials • Marketing support
- Lease or build their own work space
The founders and family of 7ven Community have already jumped in and are raising the funds to supply a surger.
The Support they need...
Give Girls the POWER to Choose and help level the playing field. To support GirlStuff.Period and our Pads4Girls program sponsored by Lunapads in Bergnek and Cradock in South Africa please visit our US partner site to make a donation.
Help us to get the GirlStuff.Period women what they need to grow and sustain their business. To make a donation visit our page at GlobalGiving or the My Arms Wide Open donation page on our site. In November (November 1-30) we are proud to be a part of the GlobalGiving Girl Effect Challenge were we need as many of your individual donations as possible – we are looking for at least 1,000 to be in the top 6 in the challenge. Watch for our e-mails, social media posts and blog posts for details coming soon.
The next step GirlStuff.Period is to get the women of Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa up and running too. What makes these women so successful is their passion and hope. It's that the power that comes from within, within these courageous women. We at My Arms Wide Open are truly grateful, and excited! to support and work right alongside them each step of the way.
Bergnek, Limpopo - One Brick at a Time
Starting now we are working to create the circumstances and environment to help the people of Bergnek take care of themselves by creating a business centered around their specific needs in the community. The idea to create a brick making facility to support building homes in the community as well as surrounding communities is significant, Why? Well the establishment of a brick-making facility will help us to address a number of items, over a period of time, identified by the community as real needs during our ongoing discussions and programs:
- The need for a reliable water source (Completed Feb 2011);
- Development of sustainable business activities within and in the surrounding communities;
- The need for sustainable and affordable food sources. Particularly fresh fruit and vegetables (Underway with our My World In a Garden Vertical Food Garden program);
- The need for a local health care centre that can provide for the needs of children, expectant mothers and mothers in Bergnek itself as well as surrounding communities;
- The need for suitable and affordable housing. The community needs a total of about 350 family homes;
- Support for the local school;
- Support for girls to be able to stay in school through the supply of reusable menstrual products.
With the well being reactivated the community has the water they desperately needed and enough to support brick making. As we noted above we have one of the needed ingredients, clay from a natural source. As for space, the community has officially set aside land for the brick making business.
Karoo Furniture Manufacturers, Cradock - October 2011
In March we announced the opening of Karoo Furniture Manufacturers. We are now ready to take the next step in the growing the business as orders come in from further and further away. The business is now serving 13 different surrounding communities and has orders waiting to be filled.
Up to now we have been blessed by the support of another manufacturer in Middleburg who has been graciously picking up our finished products and delivering them to our customers on our behalf. We are now receiving so many orders that they cannot keep up with the deliveries for us and their own business. We need to purchase a used delivery vehicle. We are looking for your support in raising $51,000 to be able to purchase a delivery vehicle for the exclusive use of Karoo Furniture Manufacturers. If you can help, please click the donate button and help us raise the funds. EVERY dollar counts.
Karoo Furniture Manufacturers, Cradock - March 2011
We’re excited to announce that Karoo Furniture Manufacturers has recently opened. Karoo manufactures lounge suite furniture and accessories and employs a total of 10 people, six of whom participated in My Arms Wide Open’s first training program. An upholstery service that has been operating under the Karoo banner will soon evolve into a separate business. Check out the BLOG for more details on progress and what the team is up to in Cradock.
Watch this space for more updates coming soon!
In January 2011 we have registered a new business in community of Bergnek, in Limpopo region in northern South Africa. The purpose is to create an umbrella to build community businesses with in the region. We are considering a number of business ideas and will run the first Iziko Labahlali program in Bergnek in October 2011. This March in Bergnek we took the opportunity to work with the community to solve the water problems the community had been experiencing for nearly two years by
re-activating and installing a new well and pump for the community. The experience was so humbling. Check out the BLOG for more details.
Watch this space for more updates coming soon!
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