Friday, 7 February 2014

On Days for Girls

I have been getting lots of enquiries about this campaign and more lately especially that there are chapters of Dress A Girl Around the world in the US who have established partnerships with Days for Girls that I have decided to do a thorough research and analysis if it is feasible for me to distribute kits together with the dresses. Here is the information that I have gathered.
  1. Days for Girls’ distribution is centralized. If anyone wants to volunteer to distribute and/or handcarry kits at your own expense , you need to fill-up a form requesting for kits and provide information including destination and the group you will be serving. The request I believe will be filled by the nearest days for girls chapter or sourced somewhere else if not available in your nearest location but you will have to pay for the cost of transporting the kits from the source to your location.
  2. The kit includes other items not just the pads and would cost  $30.00(US) each if you are requesting for a sample and also you will need to pay for the cost of sending the sample kits to your location. 
  3. To request for 75 kits - the whole weight of the 75 kits is about 22 kilos (from here you can more or less calculate how each kit weighs).
This campaign is no doubt an excellent idea (environmentally friendly as well so you get to help save the earth) especially that I know that the recipients of the dresses I distribute are more or less the same recipients of these kits - the disadvantaged teens - but only if you are financially stable. Although the kits are free, the cost of transporting the kits is where the problem is especially if you consider the weight. Also, if my understanding is correct, I still have to provide a bar of soap to include in each of the kit before actual distribution. Dress a Girl Australia is a self-funded community work where it relies on market sales, on-line store, a few donations here and there from generous donors who do not require tax receipts, friends and work colleagues. It does not have big-name sponsors as other non-profit organizations have and because I am just a regular person trying to make a difference to make this world a better place in my own small way I have no big-time contacts who could possibly help shoulder the cost of distributing the kits. Come to think of it I dont think I even know (personally) really rich people. Maybe rich in heart but not rich as in financially rich. :-)

Today, I sent an email to their distribution centre requesting for a purchase of 2 sample kits which I wanted to send to a couple of locations/contacts who I believe can possibly do the distribution on my behalf and help spread awareness of the campaign in remote areas. But on my way home on the train I started to make mental calculations. Two sample kits at $30 each plus the cost of a self-addressed express post envelope to make sure I get the parcel, the amount I was intending to pay I was thinking I can actually send 75 dresses to disadvantaged kids in Uganda. It was kind of a sad calculation but at the same time I was trying to be practical. When I got home I decided to send an email cancelling my purchase of sample kits and also decided that unless circumstances change (maybe I get lucky and have some money when I wake up in the morning :-)), I will not be able to establish a partnership to distribute days for girls kits.

In my humble opinion distributing dresses and kits will not be sustainable. I only get a handful of volunteers who are willing to handcarry dresses because these individuals are just like me without sponsors and offering to handcarry is their way of helping make a difference. Not everyone is willing to handcarry because of the cost of excess baggage they have to pay plus the cost of customs duties they sometimes are required to pay at the country of destination. In other countries it is a different story because it is part of their customs and culture to do volunteer work and they travel in groups.

So for those of you who have been enquiring about this, although the flesh is willing, the pocket is weak. For 22 kilos worth of 75 kits for 75 girls, I can actually distribute an equivalent of almost 300 dresses and that is 300 girls getting to own at least one dress. And I know that these 300 girls will have the time of their life wearing a dress they can call their own. It is a sad conclusion but practicality prevails. I will leave the kits for other people to volunteer to distribute.

For those who still wants to make pads, which I would do if I had the time I would recommend you send your finished products to the nearest days for girls location in your area. They will then include or allocate them in the kits they make and distribute them on your behalf. Thank you.

To check where your nearest Days for Girls location, please click here.

1 comment:

  1. I think you have made the right choice You are doing a great job.