Party with a purpose at IU South Bend

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By: Mabel Myers


   Celebrate International Women’s Day with an event hosted by Neovi Karakatsanis, director of the IU South Bend Honors Program, and Phyllis Wezeman, President of Malawi Matters. Party with a Purpose will be held on March 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Fireside Room. 

   “In many parts of the world young women miss a week of school every month because they do not have feminine hygiene products to use during their menstrual cycle,” the press release stated. 

   Throughout this event there will be different stations with fabric and sewing machines for people to make reusable pads for girls in “The Warm Heart of Africa.” The goal is to raise awareness of the health issues girls face in developing countries around the world and to help keep girls in school.

   “Since 2005, Malawi Matters, a volunteer-driven organization that originated in Michiana, has been facilitating Creative Methods of HIV & AIDS Education, Culture and HIV-AIDS seminars and Equipping Women-Empowering Girls courses throughout the central region of Malawi, Africa. Using a train-the-trainer system, MMI’s programs operate in 200 villages, 200 congregations, and over 1,500 primary and secondary schools. The organization began at the prompting of the nearly 2,000 people from Malawi residing in the Michiana area. Many are students at IU South Bend and other area colleges,” the press release stated. 

During the event, there will be various guest speakers:

11:30 a.m. – Phyllis Wezeman, Equipping Women/Empowering Girls

12:30 p.m. – Tamara Kampondeni, IU South Bend graduate, Life in Malawi

1:30 p.m. – Broadway Christian Parish, St. Margaret’s House and Upper Room, Women’s Programs in Michiana

2:30 p.m. – Courtney Kubly, Ten Thousand Villages store director, Africa Bags and Ten Thousand Villages

   IU South Bend staff, faculty and students as well as community members are welcome to stop by anytime throughout the event. No crafting experience or other skills are required to join in. While materials are provided, people are welcome to bring clean or new flannel or terrycloth material as well as towels to use. 

   People are encouraged to bring packages of tampons and pads to be distributed to local organizations that help women in our community: Broadway Christian Parish, St. Margaret’s House and Upper Room – Women’s House. Representatives of all three organizations will be at this event to share information and answer questions.

   Sponsors for the event include: Africa Bags; Alpha Sigma Tau; Bicycle Tattoos; First Presbyterian Church of Downtown South Bend; Indiana University Honors Program, International Student Services, Student Government Association, Women’s and Gender Studies; Malawi Matters; Ten Thousand Villages with additional mission support from the Presbytery of Wabash Valley of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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