Sunday, August 15, 2010

First steps

Just before we returned to Timor in April this year (2010), a lovely lady gave us a donation, explaining that she raised the money by doing sewing jobs.  Samuel told her that I had a little idea for a sewing project and that we would use her money to give it a trial.  A surprise to me!...
After arriving I spoke with a long term missionary/nurse (Branca) who has worked in a small mountain village for about 7 years.  Branca was quite enthusiastic about the idea, and we decided to make some sets to trial with 6 of the more educated women in the village she works in.
Branca told me that most of the women in her village cannot read, a lot of the women don’t have underpants and some women stay at home while menstruating as they have nothing suitable to use in public.
She also re-affirmed that Education is really important.

So I went back home and began to sketch and draw, and designed my own version of a modern belted pad – to use without underpants!

Some other factors I was keen to include:
·    Adjustable – female bodies tend to fluctuate more than males.
·    Easy to sew – so women can make them themselves.
·    Simple to replicate – As above
·    Easy to replace bits – So women can repair them themselves
·    Quick to dry
·    Can be used with any scraps of absorbent type fabrics
·    Suitable for nights
·    waterproof
Amazingly I was then able to borrow a sewing machine and bought some cotton fabrics to make about 12 sets of each design. While cutting the fabric up 2 neighbouring women asked about what I was making, and after hearing about it thought it was a great idea. One of them even asked for a set straight away.

All of a sudden the idea has seemed to grow rather quickly!
 Subtle words seeped out occasionally about "Cynthia's sewing project", and hesitantly I have shared my dream with a few Aussie women.  They all seem to think its a good idea!
What do you think?

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