President: Gail Symons
Treasurer: Sammy Hunt
Secretaries: Debbie Lee & Sue Marshall
An initiative originally of the Zonta Club of Adelaide Hills (in Zonta International District 23), the birthing kit was designed specifically to be a cost effective tool to promote the ‘7 cleans’ in childbirth in developing countries.
The contents are intended to promote hygiene in childbirth and thus prevent the most common causes of related infections. They contain items for the birth itself (eg. plastic sheeting, soap & disposable gloves), for the baby (clamps and a blade to attend to the umbilical cord) and to prevent common post-natal infections (eg. gauze to clean the baby’s eyes).
Once assembled, the birthing kits are distributed by the project organisers with the help of NGOs in a variety of developing countries (who train local women to be birthing attendants and in the use the kit).
The project is operated through its own distinct organisation, the Birthing Kit Foundation (Australia). The Foundation was established to facilitate management of Australian Federal Government funding support for the project through AUSAID. This provides substantive dollar-for-dollar assistance based on the donations of money and time from Zonta Clubs and other project participants.
The earliest supporters of this project, Zonta Clubs continue to be an important part of the Birthing Kit Project. The majority of all Assembly Days are organised through Zonta Clubs, and Zonta Clubs contribute over 50% of the annual funds to the Foundation.
Basically, a Zonta Club raises a set amount of funds to obtain component items from the Birthing Kit Foundation. An assembly day is set and the components delivered to the coordinator accordingly.
On the day, the agreed number of kits (for which components were ordered) are assembled, packed for shipping and delivered to the carrier to send them to their destination.