Tuesday, January 15, 2002

It's not all about me all the time

This arrived in my inbox today at work:

If anyone is interested in donating some boxes, give them to me & I will organise to send them. Could you please pass this e-mail onto your contacts.

Ms A

Fellow humanitarians, this request comes directly from a friend's friend in Cambodia. Her actual employment is working in HIV/AIDS education for the sex workers in Siem Reap (where the famous Angkor Wat is), she is also teaching English and in particular negotiation skills to these women because it's amazing the small amount of money they will accept for some particularly hideous acts that they are expected to perform. If you can manage a box or 2 that would be great, or if people want to donate boxes to me I'll package them up and send them from ARCSHS. And if you have your own email workplace/other networks can you send this on:

The request from Ingrid:

" it's the perfect time to plead for your assistance - an unusual request for the women of SR (Siem Reap)......and for us women of the west - almost unthinkable (and horrifying!). WE HAVE NO TAMPONS! I have managed to deplete the resources I came with by giving them away (not bad considering I arrived with 2 years worth!) and the women we work with have gone back to using the original resources they used prior to the introduction of tampons. I won't describe these you, suffice to say they quite literally put their lives at risk every month.

Anyway, having spent many nights contemplating what I can do for the sisterhood in Cambodge, I've decided to start a Tampon Bank! (Mmm, I can see the job title now...!!!) Basically, I would like to be able to offer the girls enough tampons - applicator/others - to minimize the use of other (unbelievably unsafe) methods. I'd also like be able to keep enough supplies at the ROSE Center so the girls have access to them on a monthly basis.

So, if you'll support me and the girls in SR in this little endeavour I'll be eternally grateful. I'd like everyone who can (and boys, don't be shy stealing your partners or rocking into the supermarket to buy them yourselves!) to send a box or two of tampons to this address:

Ingrid Quinn
ROSE Center for Women
c/- MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres)
P O Box 840

That way, we should have enough to get the Tampon Bank up and running and the women of Siem Reap will be a whole lot healthier, happier and safe. Thanks a million all - look forward to being inundated with surprise packages in the coming weeks!"

Note: So you all know what we're after and I can hear you saying now this is a mighty strange request but I ask you to consider this - there are 4 western supermarkets in Phnom Penh (about 10 hours drive from Siem Reap) at these salubrious establishments you can buy tampons. There is one catch however - they are about AUSD$24 for a box of 24 Tampax applicator (the only brand available in the country). You can buy sanitary napkins at the markets in Phnom Penh but these are also quite expensive and when you consider these girls are earning about 25 - 50 cents for each sexual act you can understand that they don't have a lot of money.....

Philomena Horsley
Community Liaison Unit
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society,
La Trobe University
1st Fl, 215 Franklin St, Melbourne
Victoria 3000 Australia
tel: +61 3 9285 5297
fax: +61 3 9285 5220

Manager, absolutely women's health
132 Grattan St, CARLTON 3054
Ph (03) 9344 2199
Fax (03) 9348 2134

I can't even imagine what those girls have to do each month, but I can bet I wouldn't want my sisters or mother going through it - so if you can help out drop a note in the comment box (link below) or in the guestbook here & Ms A can read it & get in touch with you, or link to this post & spread the word some more.

Posted by Dean @ 1/15/2002 07:33:00 pm

...Survey says...


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