Australians prepare birthing kits for Madagascar


"Gloves!" "Scalpel!" "Gauze!"

As these words rang out through the air on a Friday night in October, people could have mistakenly thought they were in a huge hospital theater rather than an Adelaide Australia stake center.

Tania Burgan assembling birthing kits.
Tania Burgan assembling birthing kits. | Photo by Jenny Armstrong

On Friday, Nov. 15, more than 70 Relief Society sisters and Laurels participated in a service project in support of The Birthing Kit Foundation-Australia ( through Zonta International, an organization that supplies kits to help provide clean birthing conditions in disadvantaged countries. This evening of service began a weekend of spiritual enrichment for Relief Society sisters and Laurel-age Young Women in the Adelaide Australia Modbury Stake as part of their Women's Conference.

There is a great need for hygienic birthing kits throughout the world, with an estimated 525,000 women dying annually in childbirth, many from preventable infections acquired due to the unclean conditions of the birth. The aim of the foundation is to reduce the incidence of illness and death amongst infants and their mothers by providing birthing kits to women who have little or no assistance during childbirth. The 600 birthing kits were assembled by the Modbury sisters over the evening were destined for Madagascar.

Janet Field, left, and Lindsey McKim, right, preparing birthing kits.
Janet Field, left, and Lindsey McKim, right, preparing birthing kits. | Photo by Jenny Armstrong

"We have been really grateful for this opportunity to serve our Heavenly Father's daughters in Madagascar who do not have anything like the health care or birthing options available to them that we do. It is wonderful to know that our efforts will help to stop illness and save lives during and after the birthing process," said Katherine Nairn, first counselor in the stake Relief Society presidency. "It was a wonderful evening of hard work for a good cause, in good company, and the whole Women's Conference was an uplifting and insightful experience."

The Women's Conference continued on Saturday, Nov. 16, when more than 160 sisters participated in a variety of classes covering a topics such as the power of making positive changes, personal revelation, journal keeping and finding joy in the mirror. The day culminated in a dinner followed by the live broadcast given by Sister Julie B. Beck, General Relief Society President, given to all Australian sisters.

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