Members of the E-Club of Brindabella have put together 25 hygiene bags for a small school, Newcastle Waters, in the Northern Territory.   This school is located 788 km north of Alice Springs and 714 km south of Darwin in the Barkley region.  It is a combined school, serving years 1-4 and 6-7.  The uniform is compulsory and enforced.  The Newcastle Waters school draws most of its few students from the Marlinja homeland community, which lies on the northern boundary of the town.  Kriol is the contact language now spoken as a first language by most aboriginal people across the region.
The school is comprised of 25 students; 12 boys and 11 girls (10 years and under) and two boys (11 years and over).  An unofficial student is the 6-month-old baby of the Assistant teacher!
So, in all 26 bags were made and sent – they didn’t leave out the “unofficial” student who will receive an age-appropriate bag! (It included yellow duckies for her bathtub!)
To complete this project, the Rotary E-Club partnered with the Moss Vale Public School – Class 2C.  The principal, Katherine Hurst and teacher Nicola (2C) were keen to promote the link between their school and Newcastle Waters.  The students of this class each wrote a letter to an individual student at the school, which was added to that student’s bag.  Nicola (teacher) also penned a letter to the teacher of Newcastle Waters encouraging a possible video/zoom link up with the school for her students.
A local firm, Pack & Send from Mittagong, also came on board to assist the club in this project, transporting the boxes of hygiene bags and water bottles to the Northern Territory at cost.
Australia is the only western country to still have trachoma within its borders.  These hygiene bags will help educate these young children to prevent this eye disease that causes permanent blindness.
The Rotary E-Club encourages other Rotary Clubs within the District to take on this project.  The way this club undertook this was one person made the drawstring bags then distributed them to the members who fulfilled the list.  The cost per bag is approximately $30.  A small cost for a long-lasting reward!