5 May 2017
At the 1995 UN Women’s Conference in Beijing, actor Sally Field inspired Adelaide Doctor, Joy O’Hazy (pictured here) with the idea that women in developing countries could survive birth in far greater numbers if they had access to a few basic, clean items.
After four years of research Joy developed the birthing kit using six items packed into a small zip-lock bag. 100 kits were put together at the first ‘Assembly Day’ in 1999 by the Zonta Club of the Adelaide Hills.
Those kits, distributed in Papua New Guinea, were incredibly successful. Joy sought support from Zonta, the word spread and ‘The Zonta Birthing Kit Project’ was adopted.
By 2005, over 121,500 kits had been assembled and distributed – the majority of these by Zonta Clubs. Over the years, Zonta clubs reaffirmed their commitment with the Zonta Birthing Kit Project Committee responsible for distributing kits across the developing world, seeking out NGOs to partner with.
The Zonta Birthing Kit Project was so successful it needed to become a charity in its own right and the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia was established on September 6th 2006.
For more detailed information on our history you can click here.