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