- Initiated by Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills, District 23
- Adopted by Zonta clubs in District 24 in 2004
- First endorsed as a District 24 project in 2005
- Also supported by a wide variety of community groups and women’s associations who work with Zonta clubs in District 24 to extend production further
- As at January 2013, D24 clubs had made more than 145,000 kits since 2008
- Across Australia, well over 1.5 million kits have been assembled since the project began
This video (5 minutes) gives a brief history of the Birthing Kits Projects.
The “7 cleans” save lives
Contents of a Birthing Kit:
Where did it come from?
An initiative originally of the Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills (in Zonta International District 23), the birthing kit was designed specifically to be a cost effective tool to promote the ’7 cleans’ in childbirth in developing countries.
The contents are intended to promote hygiene in childbirth and thus prevent the most common causes of related infections. They contain items for the birth itself (e.g. plastic sheeting, soap & disposable gloves), for the baby (clamps and a blade to attend to the umbilical cord) and to prevent common post-natal infections (e.g. gauze to clean the baby’s eyes).
Once assembled, the birthing kits are distributed by the project organisers with the help of NGOs in a variety of developing countries (who train local women to be birthing attendants and in the use of the kit).
The project is operated through its own distinct organisation, the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia). The Foundation was established to facilitate management of Australian Federal Government funding support for the project through AUSAID. For many years, this provided substantive dollar-for-dollar assistance based on the donations of money and time from Zonta clubs and other project participants.
The earliest supporters of this project, Zonta clubs continue to be an important part of the Birthing Kit Project. The majority of all Assembly Days are organised through Zonta clubs, and Zonta clubs contribute over 50% of the annual funds to the Foundation.
How does the project work?
Basically, a Zonta club raises a set amount of funds to obtain component items from the Birthing Kit Foundation. An assembly day is set and the components delivered to the coordinator. On the day, the agreed number of kits (for which components were ordered) are assembled, packed for shipping and delivered to the carrier to send them to their destination
For a wealth of further information and all the latest on country projects, visit the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia).