Giving homeless women and girls some dignity

Giving homeless women and girls some dignity

Kelmscott Senior High School principal Trevlyn Geiles (left), Share the Dignity volunteer Janine Fisher and home economics teacher Cheryl Parsons (right) with year 12 students. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A class full of year 12 home economics students put their skills to the test last term to make handbags for homeless women and teens in the community.

The class of Kelmscott Senior High School students spent six weeks with their sewing machines to make the bags for homeless women’s charity Share the Dignity.

The bags were made as part of this year’s #itsinthebag drive, which officially kicks off next month.

Share the Dignity volunteer Janine Fisher said the drive asked people in the community to donate either a pre-loved or a new handbag filled with women’s everyday luxuries and personal hygiene products to make life better for a woman or girl experiencing homelessness or poverty.

“This drive brings a little Christmas joy to the women and girls who are out there that are doing it tough,” she said.

“Many of these women have fled in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on

their back, sometimes with their children, in search for a better life away from domestic violence.

“The amount of women who say to us ‘I actually haven’t had a handbag for the past 10 years’, the joy that they feel and the self worth they feel that a stranger has done this for them is amazing.”

Teacher Cheryl Parsons said the students researched a number of different charities before choosing Share the Dignity.

“The students wrote to local businesses and asked for donations to put inside the bags and the school provided what didn’t come in,” she said.

“I am very proud of their achievements, they were very enthusiastic and not once did they say they wanted to keep the bags that they had made.”

Ms Parsons said she hoped the project would become a school tradition.

The Share the Dignity 2018 #itsinthebag Drive runs between November 16 and December 2.

For more information visit the Share the Dignity website.