Lynne Groves and Michelle Slater of Zonta fundraised last year to support the group with art pieces available for purchase at the Arts and Crafts show.

LOOKING out for women nationally and internationally is a priority of the Zonta Group of Mitchell, as it continues to provide birthing kits and toiletry bags for vulnerable women.

Last year the group hosted an art and craft show to fundraise for their projects and to raise awareness for the 16 Days of Activism Campaign – a cause to support family violence victims.

Zonta Club of Mitchell volunteer Robin Audehm said the group worked on community projects, but also provided national and international support.

“Our local projects include preparing toiletry kits for women which we have ready for women in emergency situations, at hospitals and schools,” Ms Audehm said.

“The birthing kits are based in South Australia but are an international project and designed to go to third world countries…a packet of things you would need, like gloves, a razor blade, string, plastic and a bit of soap.

“We’re also raising money to educate midwives around poorer areas of the world, because it will save the lives of women and babies during birth.”

Ms Audehm said it was crucial to support women and young girls as they had an influence on family wellbeing.

“In third world countries women have a great amount of influence on the wellbeing of families. In our local community it’s the women who are forgotten or can find themselves in a fairly hard place,” Ms Audehm said.

“They often need a voice or support to get out of that place, and if women are the main caregivers they have a wider influence and need that support.

“Locally we’re looking at implementing a scholarship program for girls and trying to get them into stem subjects like psychology or engineering, and speaking or public affairs.”

Ms Audehm said a focus of the group was also supporting victims and survivors of family violence.

“Our main focus is helping women through family violence or getting a better education. Looking at the statistics, there are more girls dropping out earlier and more women impacted by violence,” she said.

“If women are the main caregivers, these statistics have a bigger impact on families.

“We’re not anti-men, there are male members of our group, and we acknowledge that family violence isn’t just against women.”

Zonta Club of Mitchell used to meet in Broadford’s Living and Learning Centre but are currently meeting online due to the pandemic.

Anyone who is interested in joining the group should visit the Zonta Club of Mitchell Facebook page and can attend meetings once COVID-19 restrictions ease.

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