NewsWednesday 03 Sep 2014

TAFE students pack birthing kits to save lives

Kempsey TAFE students are involved in an international program through the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) to help women in developing countries give birth safely.

‘385 000 women die every year in childbirth worldwide and most of these deaths are preventable. 99% of these deaths are women in developing countries and these birthing kits contain the basics to help reduce infection. Each one has soap, string, a plastic sheet, gloves, gauze and a scalpel. The birthing kits then go back to the organisation and are distributed to the highest need areas,’ says project coordinator Meredith Gibson.

‘This is the second year I’ve been involved in the program and I have seen firsthand how much everyone gets out of it. Not only is there a real benefit for the women giving birth, it helps people recognise and understand the larger world community which they may not have access to in Kempsey,’ says Meredith. 

TAFE teacher Kacey Shannon says the students from the Skills for Work and Training- Certificate II in Community Services course would gain valuable experience from participating in the program.

‘It’s good for the students to be interacting with people from across the community and developing community networks. It gives them experience in organising events for future job roles and to see a project operating from beginning to end. We’re also doing a class project where we compare what it’s like to have a child in a developing country compared to having a child in Kempsey,’ says Kacey.

‘I lived in Papua New Guinea as a kid and I’ve seen that childbirth in these countries isn’t easy. The infant mortality rate is really high during birth and afterwards. I’m a parent myself so I’m really excited to be helping out in this program, says student Leigh Forsyth.

The TAFE students will be hosting the public assembly day on the 17th September at Kempsey TAFE from 4-6pm (arrive 3pm) and light refreshments will be provided.
For more information about the assembly day please contact Fran Pascoe on 0407 218 238 or to learn more about the Birthing Kit Foundation visit

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