The distance of 12000km was insufficient to deter the women of BPW (Business & Professional Women) Australia when a call for help was received from our sister club in Lebanon. BPW Australia is affiliated to BPW International which has a Disaster Donation Policy that enables members worldwide to support appeals in countries where BPW has Affiliates that have experienced natural disasters.
After the devasting explosion in Beirut in August last year, this Disaster policy was activated. And, just like that, the BPWA Lebanon disaster appeal was formed. BPW Australia’s members set out to help.
Led by the sterling efforts of Carol Hanlon, BPW Belmont member, and a Past State President of BPW WA. Carol is also the founder of Textile Clothing and Footwear Resource Centre WA Inc. (TCF WA) and Belmont Business Enterprise Centre Inc. (Belmont BEC). The partnership of BPW Australia, TCF WA and Belmont BEC shows the power of women working together.
The appeal aim was to find funds and other functional supports for the economic empowerment of women affected by the blast. Through her network with TCF WA and Belmont BEC, Carol facilitated donations of sewing machines, overlockers, textiles and haberdashry.
Providing sewing machines and fabrics to those who can sew, BPW Lebanon would donate blankets to the homeless for warmth in the winter. The materials and machines would also help women who lost their jobs due to the blast with means to start a small business and earn a living again.
“BPW is a community of women working to end gender inequity. Our members share an interest in the issues that affect working women in Australia and around the world today.” Jacqueline Graham , BPW Australia President said.
“BPW Australia collected local freight donations and promoted the project in the BPW national magazine and we were happy to receive support from our clubs across the states.” Jacqueline continued.
“It’s important for us to support these women who are trying to re-build their lives after the explosion”, Ms Hanlon said.
“We were overwhelmed with the industry and community support received and were able to include 412 rolls of textiles, 265 cartons of fabrics, haberdashery, sewing and knitting accessories, and 93 sewing machine and overlockers to help the project”.
The 40ft container left Perth in early June and has now successfully arrived in Beirut to the grateful hands of Carmen Zogheib, President of BPW Lebanon. Carmen sent her heartfelt thanks to all who were involved with this incredible appeal in Australia. “We would like to thank all who supported and helped us to receive this donation” Carmen said.
BPW Clubs from across Australia that assisted with donations (were;
WA Clubs - Belmont, Perth, Harvey, Joondalup-Wanneroo
QLD Clubs- Caboolture and North Lakes
VIC Clubs – South West and Swan Hill
and Darwin Club in Northern Territory.
Special thanks go out to the following businesses who helped make this happen:
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Resource Centre of WA Inc. (TCF WA) and Belmont Business Enterprise Centre Inc. (Belmont BEC) - responsible for coordinating the industry and public donations of sewing equipment, textiles, and haberdashery. The committee, staff, and many supporters and volunteers during this appeal also came together in collecting, packing, storing, and organising this very large shipment.
Arteil WA - who donated over 250 rolls of assorted textiles.
Storage King Perth Airport - provided the storage unit for donated items during the appeal to allow this project to be possible.
Ghossayn Group, NSW – who is the major sea freight sponsor from Perth to Beirut.
Astro Synthetic Surfaces, Ascot WA – for use of their premises for warehousing, repacking and being the container packing location.
LGF Logistics Perth – assisted with local shipping logistics.
Business & Professional Women Australia
BPW Australia is a community of women working to end gender inequity. Our members share an interest in the issues that affect working women in Australia and around the world today. BPW’s membership includes employers and employees who work across many sectors including corporate, small business, professions, trades, non-profit and government. BPW Australia is affiliated to BPW International, which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and has expert and experienced representatives accredited to most United Nations agencies.
BPW Australia recommends actions in line with UN Global Compact Sustainable Development Goal 5. To Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls
Contact: Angela Tomazos 0457199646 / E [email protected]