‘Dream It * Be It’ set to take place in April

The Expositor (Brantford) - - FRONT PAGE - JA­COB ROBIN­SON

A Sorop­ti­mist In­ter­na­tional of Grand Erie steer­ing com­mit­tee is in the thick of or­ga­niz­ing its fifth an­nual ‘Dream It * Be It’ gath­er­ing to take place in April.

The event aims to em­power lo­cal girls to pur­sue ca­reer goals and reach their full po­ten­tial.

In ad­vance of the assem­bly, its steer­ing com­mit­tee as­sem­bled for a think tank ses­sion at the Brant Mu­tual In­sur­ance build­ing on Hol­i­day Drive Satur­day to fur­ther pre­pare and also meet with the Days for Girls An­caster Chap­ter.

Days for Girls (DFG) pro­vides hand-sewn, wash­able fem­i­nine hy­giene kits to young women around the world. A kit con­sists of a draw­string bag, two cot­ton shields with a mois­ture bar­rier lin­ing, eight flan­nel lin­ers that fit into the shields, a wash­cloth, small bar of soap, two pairs of un­der­wear and two Zi­ploc freezer bags.

The An­caster chap­ter alone has sent al­most 700 kits to vil­lages in coun­tries in­clud­ing Nepal, Zam­bia, Bangladesh, and Uganda. For girls in those lo­cales, kits al­low them to con­tinue school­ing dur­ing their ado­les­cence.

Each kit re­quires ap­prox­i­mately five vol­un­teer hours to pro­duce and so the 15 high school-aged girls on hand Satur­day started the process by care­fully cut­ting fab­ric into spe­cific de­signs, set­ting the stage to as­sist youths like them­selves around the world.

“It feels great and it’s also very hum­bling be­cause we take a lot of stuff we have for granted, specif­i­cally fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts,” said 17-year-old Teena Bhaga, who has been part of the steer­ing com­mit­tee for four years.

“We don’t have to worry about where we’re go­ing to get them, but some peo­ple don’t have that lux­ury and so it def­i­nitely makes you want to do more to help them and not take what you have for granted.”

The com­mit­tee is made up of high school-aged girls from the Brant­ford and Nor­folk County area.

“This is a re­ally great ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause it al­lows you to do some­thing and put your­self for­ward and give what other peo­ple need,” said Delhi’s Ge­or­gia Nix, a 17-year-old.

“It’s not some­thing we would nec­es­sar­ily use be­cause we have ac­cess to it but know­ing that other girls need it, it feels great to be able to help them out.”

The com­mit­tee is not only a way for Sorop­ti­mist In­ter­na­tional to pos­si­bly gain more mem­bers down the road but fur­ther in­grains the value of lend­ing a help­ing hand.

“We can be book-learned as much as we want to be, but to ac­tu­ally have hands-on (ac­tiv­i­ties) and be part of the project is great,” said Lau­rie Cappe, chair of the ‘Dream It * Be It’ event.

“Maybe they’ll take this for­ward into their life.”

Bha­gat plans on be­com­ing a Sorop­ti­mist in the fu­ture.

“When you’re a kid we all want to be as­tro­nauts, po­lice of­fi­cers or some­thing that’s go­ing to change the world,” she said. “Do­ing some­thing like this brings you right back to that, want­ing to help the world. It makes you feel al­most like a hero.”

Nix plans to en­list in the armed forces after grad­u­at­ing from Delhi Dis­trict Sec­ondary School and fur­ther uti­lize the val­ues in­stilled by the com­mit­tee.

“I def­i­nitely want to stay in a women help­ing women in­sti­tu­tion,” she added.

“Hav­ing some­thing that we can set up in the army – women help­ing women - would be phe­nom­e­nal.”

‘Dream It * Be It’ will take place from 9 a.m.to 3:30 p.m. at 33 Di­ana Ave. in Brant­ford on April 6. Log onto sorop­ti­mist­granderie.ca to regis­ter.

JA­COB ROBIN­SON/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Mem­bers of the Days for Girls An­caster Chap­ter met on Satur­day with the Sorop­ti­mist In­ter­na­tional of Grand Erie sub­com­mit­tee that hosts the an­nual 'Dream It * Be It' event each year in Brant­ford. Mem­bers of the com­mit­tee helped cre­ate fem­i­nine hy­giene kits for young girls in Third World coun­tries. Pic­tured is 16-year-old Sylvia Liu of St. John's Col­lege along­side Days for Girls rep­re­sen­ta­tive Roelie DeKleine of Cale­do­nia.

JA­COB ROBIN­SON/BRANT­FORD EXPOSITOR

Mem­bers of the Days for Girls An­caster Chap­ter met on Satur­day with the Sorop­ti­mist In­ter­na­tional of Grand Erie sub­com­mit­tee that hosts the an­nual 'Dream It * Be It' event each year in Brant­ford. Mem­bers of the com­mit­tee helped cre­ate fem­i­nine hy­giene kits for young girls in Third World coun­tries. Com­mit­tee mem­ber Teena Bha­gat, 17, of As­sump­tion Col­lege and Days for Girls rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joanne Spoel­stra of Hamil­ton work on the project.

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