Monday, 16 May 2022
The heart of SIM Australia’s aid and development arm, SIMaid, is to practically demonstrate the compassion of God by ministering to the physical needs of least reached people groups. SIMaid’s e3 Community Transformation
project supports holistic community development in West Timor. The project, which started in April 2012, offers training, mentoring and strategic support to non-government organisations and local leaders working to create transformational impact in West Timor.
Enabling women to thrive
Sadly, more than 500 million¹ females around the world do not have the resources they need to manage their period. In low-income areas of the world, the cost of purchasing disposable options is often too expensive, limiting the ability for girls and women to leave their homes during their menstrual cycle. This impacts their education, income generation and social connectivity.
The e3 project is collaborating with Days for Girls, an international organisation that has developed a good quality reusable menstrual kit. The long-term goal of e3 is to support a local women’s group that can produce the reusable kits for income generation.
Two e3 volunteers, Shell and Robyn, have been working with a local tailor to produce these kits. Once they develop the capacity to produce the kits effectively, the tailor will help a women’s group learn how to make them. The team have explored options to source the raw materials required to produce the kits. In November last year, the team achieved gold standard accreditation from Days for Girls, which required them to undergo mentoring via Zoom and produce sample kits for approval. This approval ensures the kits are comfortable and last for up to 3 years.
As well as distributing the reusable kits, the program also includes women’s health education. In April 2021, the e3 team trained staff from four Compassion child development centres and each participant received their own reusable menstrual kit. Many women provided feedback to the team to say this was the first time they had learnt about key aspects of menstrual and reproductive health. Three of these leaders have begun to assist us with providing this education to other groups of girls and women in West Timor.
e3 is also working to support communities affected by Cyclone Seroja in April 2021. Many families in coastal areas lost their homes and livelihoods. The flooding also resulted in landslides which caused damage to roads, bridges and the electricity network. The devastation highlighted the need for access to safe drinking water and the importance of developing WASH (water, sanitation & hygiene) resilience. Praise God in March this year this project was able to provide 100 menstrual kits and health education to one village badly impacted by Cyclone Seroja.
Further education and distributions are already planned for this year now the team have capacity to produce kits locally.
Help transform communities in West Timor through a tax-deductible gift to SIMaid’s e3 project by visiting sim.org.au/e3
¹ The World Bank, 2018.
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