'Be the change' breakfast
Abbotsleigh students have big hearts and big dreams for making a positive difference in our needy world. This thrills us no end! However, it is easy for young people, just as it is for those of us at any age, to be paralysed by the prospect of how to move forward in making good things happen.
On Tuesday morning this week, we welcomed 130 students from Years 9-12 from Abbotsleigh and neighbouring school to breakfast to hear Ms Susanna Matters, Abbotsleigh Junior School teacher and founder of the charity Goods for Girls, share her experience of transforming ideas and potential into a solution-focused action plan.
Goods for Girls is a not for profit organisation that acknowledges the connection between a healthy lifestyle and encouraging young women to stay in school.
Established in 2012 by Susanna, Goods for Girls is committed to improving the school performance and attendance of girls in rural, developing communities through the provision of feminine hygiene products and services. Goods for Girls trains young women to sew reusable sanitary pads and distribute them to schools, using local materials and partners.
Goods for Girls’ first project was based in Muhaka, on the Kenyan Coast, where Susanna spent time as a volunteer teacher at the local schools. She formed a friendship with local teacher Rachael who had been concerned about maintaining the school attendance of her female students. Together, they worked on setting up a sewing program to assist these girls.
In telling her story and the wisdom she has gained over the past seven years since Goods for Girls began, Susanna inspired and motivated all in attendance. Her own humility, courage, perseverance and a commitment to working collaboratively with Kenyan locals who know the culture best, were valuable lessons indeed.