Zonta Club Adelaide Hills started the Birthing Kit Project.
The project became the Zonta District 23 Birthing Kit project in 2004.
It has grown into a Birthing Kit Foundation which as now supplied over 2 million kits to women in remote regions of over 30 countries.
Winner of the inaugural Zonta International prize for the BEST District Service project in the world at the Zonta International Convention in Orlando USA in 2014.
In 1999 the first 100 kits were sent to PNG. They proved to be so effective in reducing maternal and child deaths that thousands more were requested.
We have now celebrated over 2.4 million kits made by volunteers in Australia and distributed into 30 countries.
We have organised another 170,000 kits to be made in-country in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and DR Congo.
We have also trained over 10,000 Traditional Birth Attendants.
The Birthing Kit Foundation is addressing its environmental and social responsibilities by:
- To be more environmentally responsible. – All of our kits are now made with degradable plastic that is broken down by microbes when buried.
- To reduce our carbon footprint. – we plan to make more kits in the beneficiary country with locally sourced contents and less freight.
- To be socially more responsible. – All kits donated will be made by Orana a disability support service based in Adelaide thereby helping the disabled in our community.
In the 22 years since this project started, there have been many achievements. Many were transformative to communities and empowering for the women. Find out more on www.bkfa.org.au/our-work/birthing-kits/our-achievements/
What is a Zonta Birthing Kit?
A Birthing Kit is a small transportable kit that holds the essential items needed to provide a safe and clean birthing environment.
These are distributed to women giving birth in remote regions of developing countries to be used by traditional birthing attendants.
The kits contain:
- 1m x 1m plastic sheet for the mother to lie on
- A piece of soap
- 2 gloves
- 5 gauze squares
- 3 cord ties or 2 clamps
- Sterile scalpel blade.
- All contained in a small press seal plastic bag.
The birthing kits are made at Assembly Days by Zonta members, family, friends and potential new members. 2000 birthing kits can be assembled in 4 hours with 40 volunteers. Zonta clubs make them in conjunction with schools, university students, Rotary clubs and church groups. Assembly Days are a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and for potential new members and friends to hear about our project.
How does the program work?
For every kit to be made the club donates $3 to the Birthing Kit Foundation for supplies to be sent to our Assembly Day coordinator. At a designated venue volunteers gather and assemble the supplies into kits. These are then boxed and sent to their destination.
The $5 pays for supplies, transport, logistics and support for community training programs of Traditional Birth Attendants.
For 1000 kits we need $5000.
How can you help?
- Volunteer to assist us at our next assembly day. Click here to volunteer
- Donate towards our club making more kits at its next assembly day
- Raise funds by holding events
- hold a baby shower and instead of gifts ask for donations to birthing kits
- have a lunch where everyone brings a plate and pays a donation
- hold a quiz night
- Make a donation to the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) in the name of someone special OR
- Contact the Birthing Kit Foundation and organise your own Assembly Day
Our club the Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills started the Birthing Kit Project.
In 1999 the first 100kits were sent to PNG and were so effective in reducing maternal and child deaths that thousands more were requested.
It grew over the next 4 years to become a National Zonta project in 2004 with an AusAID grant. By 2005 the project was in over 30 countries, distributing over 100,000 kits per year by volunteers. 98% of kits arrived at their remote destination. For volunteers, it was an amazing logistical exercise.
By 2006 the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia) was formed with the original members of the Zonta Birthing Kit Committee being on the board. For more information www.bkfa.org.au
In 2012 the project reached 1 million kits made by volunteers in Australia. To celebrate Dr. Luc Mulimbalimba our partner in DR Congo came to Australia to be the keynote speaker at all celebration events.
In 2018 – 19 the Foundation passed the 2 millionth kit made by volunteers in Australia and distributed to more than 30 developing countries.
In 2019 we also celebrated the 20th Birthday of the Birthing Kit Project.
Without the dedication and hard work of members of the Adelaide Hills Zonta club many thousands of women and babies would not be alive today. This project only survived with the dedication of a small group of women and the support of Zonta members across Australia.