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Mammas Laef Washable Sanitary Pads for girls in education, Vanuatu

  • We're moving ... but just to a new Give A Little page

      25 February 2019
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    During the past 12 months we have been working towards setting up the Mammas Laef Charitable Trust. That means, it's time to move the Give A Little page across to a formal charity page - which will be activated in the next week or so (beginning of March 2019).

    There are a couple of changes for our wonderful supporters.

    Firstly, those making donations of $5 or more will receive a receipt which can be used to claim a rebate from Inland Revenue - up to any limits which might apply.

    Secondly, we are changing the focus of who receives the packs of reusable sanitary pads.

    Sometimes the focus will be on an entire community and sometimes on one particular school, depending on which area of Vanuatu we are working in.

    The accumulated funds from the new Give A Little page, will be used at various times to will provide packs of reusable pads for girls in school, or out of school and for women within a community.

    Over the past 3 1/2 years, we've found the best approach in gifting packs, is to provide them to all women within the community. There are several benefits in doing so:

    For girls in school - having your own pads, means one less barrier to accessing education.

    For girls not in school - those girls may want to be in school, but for one reason or another they aren't (often there are not funds within the family for the school fees). Those girls will receive packs.

    For mammas in the community - their menstrual needs may be unmet too. Having access to pads allows those mammas to fully participate in daily activities, as they wish. This also opens up the pathway for discussion about sik mun.

    Through our various fundraising efforts and sales, we have so far supported 3,500 women in Vanuatu with Vanuatu-made, environmentally friendly menstrual pads.

    Thanks for the financial support so far and the words of encouragement.

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  • 2018 donations to NGUNA and PELE islands - November

      19 November 2018
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    We found the perfect schools to donate the 2018 GIVE A LITTLE donated packs of washable sanitary pads.

    THANK YOU.

    Peace Corp Volunteer on Nguna Island approached us about another project and during the conversation it seemed like the perfect fit.

    There is a small school on the island - Eles Primary school. 70 female students aged around 11 years and the female teachers ALL received the Vanuatu-made washable pad packs today (19.11.18). Mary delivered a menstrual health awareness programme to the girls.

    THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to Mamma's Laef Vanuatu in the past year.

    Every $25 donated covers the cost of 1 pack, which is donated to a girl in school.

    The remaining packs of pads (13) from the 2018 donations will be delivered tomorrow (20.11.18) on Pele Island.

    i'll post some photos .

    Kindest regards to you all

    Belinda

    Founder of Mamma's Laef.

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  • Next Distribution is happening soon

      2 November 2018

    We have been approached by people on 2 small off shore islands, asking for us to visit and distribute washable sanitary pads to schools on their islands.

    We are now organising the logistics of public transport from our base, and the boat rides to the neighbouring islands.

    We hope to do this during November ... we'll post an update when it's all finished.

    Thanks for your patience..

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  • Our next school donation is in the wings

      10 July 2018
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    We have another 68 kits ready for donation and hoping to get up to our target of 100 kits.

    Our goal is to be able to reach that target by end of September 2018 and visit a local Port Vila secondary school - provide the MHM (menstrual hygiene management) education programme and donate the kits you have kindly sponsored.

    Watch this space.

    Thanks for your continued support.

    Belinda

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  • Costs

      29 May 2018
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    We've been sewing, selling and distributing our beautiful washable sanitary pad kits for almost 3 years now. In that time, our costs have increased.

    Gone are the days of me taking fabric in my suitcase, or sending it with someone travelling to Vanuatu.

    The more we respond to the need for our kits - the greater volume of components required to make the washable sanitary pads. That means freight - and that costs.

    As a result - the suggested donation has increased to $25 to cover the entire costs of the kits - including delivery of the kits to areas outside of immediate location. Take a look at our facebook page and you will - sometimes we need to hire a van or boat to get to schools to deliver the kits.

    Donations from Give A Little donations, private donations and Rotary Clubs in New Zealand has enabled us to deliver over 2,500 kits to girls and their female teachers; and women on 5 islands.

    Over 1,600 women and girls have participated in our education programme.

    The trial of the education programme for men has reached 250 men.

    We might be a small group - but our impact is growing. We appreciate your continued support.

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    • 29/05/2018 by Belinda

      The photo is of female teachers at a primary school on the small island of Lelepa just of the Efate coastline.

  • We are a Frontier Innovators Winner

      23 April 2018
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    We are thrilled to be included in 15 of the Winners of the #frontierinnovators grants - provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia.

    This will give our group a chance to develop our foundations so we can move forward successfully with ni Vanuatu leading the way.

    We need to take small steps - but that requires funding - and we think this grant will allow this first step to take place.

    http://dfat.gov.au/news/news/Pages/innovationxchange-ixc-frontier-innovators-doing-business-delivering-impact.aspx

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  • Keep your fingers crossed for us

      4 February 2018

    In mid 2017 I made an application to Frontier Innovators - for a grant to support the Vanuatu team to gradually upskill and take over many of the administrative, management roles of our fast growing social enterprise.

    Guess what!! We have been selected in the top 32 of the 700+ applicants from across the Pacific and Asia. Please keep your fingers crossed for us please as the final 15 will be announced soon.

    https://www.frontierinnovators.org/finalists

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  • 1 year on with Give A Little

      19 December 2017
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    2017 has been another really busy year for Mamma's Laef.

    The total received from GIVE A LITTLE in NZ has allowed us to visit one school near Port Vila, with another school on the horizon for Term 1 2018.

    A few Rotary Clubs around New Zealand have funded other school donations - some of which will also be distributed in Term 1 2018.

    The need continues, and I feel we haven't even really touched the tip of the iceberg.

    Plans for 2018 are:

    400 kits to be distributed into North Efate (Rotary Clubs of Nelson Bays funded)

    85 kits to be distributed into a school near Port Vila (Rotary Club of Tauranga funded).

    Continue research and applications for funding for a much wider distribution for girls in schools and also those who aren't in current education.

    You can always follow our more regular updates on the facebook page.

    Thanks for your support. We do appreciate it.

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    • 21/12/2017 by Belinda

      The photo is of Roselyne. She and I travelled to Aneityum in the south of Vanuatu to research the possibility of bulk distribution of kits on this island. Funded by Lav Kokonas.

  • Our first GIVE A LITTLE distribution has happened

      23 August 2017
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    Yesterday, Sorovanga School in Blacksands (not too far from the capital of Port Vila) female students received washable sanitary pad kits thanks to the generous donations from Give A Little supporters of Mamma’s Laef.

    We’ve had a few hitches along the way, to get the kits into this school; but it’s finally happened. Take a look at the smiles on the girls faces, I think that paints the picture of how pleased they are with their gift from you, the donors.

    80 girls received kits, alongside the 7 female teachers who sat in on the awareness session. We use this technique, because it gives the girls someone to talk to, once we have left, if they have any questions.

    Mary and the team visited the school on 22nd August and presented the awareness session on menstrual hygiene management and basic reproductive health.

    You will see that some of the girlsl are holding a small booklet. This was designed especially for our girls in Vanuatu. Written in Bislama, it’s a record of some of the information shared in the awareness session and also details on the care and use of the kits; so that the life expectancy of the kits is maximised.

    So thanks to you kind people. You have just made a difference in the lives of the girls of Sorovanga School. Tank yu tumas. Belinda & the team in Vanuatu.

    (PS - we are well on the way, to being able to repeat this donation of kits & awareness/education session) I intend to keep the Give a Little page alive, so more girls in Vanuatu can continue their education, uninterrupted by their monthly period. )

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  • Movie featuring Mamma's Laef

      24 May 2017
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    CARE International in Vanuatu have purchased hundreds of our washable sanitary pad kits.

    In doing so, it's meant over 600 girls have been able to stay in school for longer.

    This great little movie, produced by our friends at Groovy Banana, features Mamma's Laef.

    It will give you a great insight, straight from the girls themselves, as to what a difference it makes in their lives, to have quality menstrual hygiene management tools.

    Mi lukim yu

    Belinda

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  • Visiting Tanna Island - southern Vanuatu - late February 2017

      2 March 2017
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    This week two of our team from Pango Village, near Vanuatu's capital of Port Vila are being hosted by CARE International.

    Visiting some of the schools that CARE International had distributed hundreds of our washable sanitary pad kits to girls during late 2016.

    Mary and Marise have been providing menstrual hygiene and menstrual management education to girls in those schools.

    Follow us on facebook to get regular updates

    https://www.facebook.com/MammaLaef/

    (Belinda)

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  • Meet our Vanuatu team members

      29 December 2016

    An end of year project by Port Vila International School has provided our group with a small video about the needs of girls in Vanuatu for washable sanitary pads and highlights the work of the Mamma's Laef group..

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