Last week I went to a friend’s Relief Society in Sandy, Utah to talk a bit about living conditions in places like Africa. Several friends now have taken me up on my offer to come speak and show a presentation about what it’s like for girls and women who live in places where they don’t have adequate (any) sanitary supplies. I’ve written before about the Days for Girls organization and the amazing work they do helping to send sanitary kits to women in developing countries all over the world. Having these kits enables women to stay in school (rather than staying home during their monthly menstrual cycles), which in turn buys for them days of education equaling up to 3 months of school every year.
This organization empowers girls to stay in school, to be healthy and maintain their dignity. So far more than 60,000 girls in 31 nations on 5 continents have been provided with sanitation kits. Each kit contains supplies that can be laundered and reused for up to 3 years in harsh conditions. You can see the contents of these kits and learn how to make them on the Days for Girls website.
Here is a little more information from their website and below are some photos I took last week of women and girls helping make a difference:
The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school. An innovative solution has proven to be key – sustainable feminine hygiene she can count on. With it, she can avoid infection, shame, exploitation, early marriage, and even trafficking. Your support of this project provides girls quality washable sanitary pads and important reproductive health, hygiene, self-defense and sewing training. Girls, families and communities are empowered as leaders and sewing cooperatives gain income and skills.
Millions of impoverished girls face days with no access to safe feminine hygiene solutions. Girls turn to unsanitary methods of feminine hygiene including leaves, bark, newspapers, rocks and corn cobs, and in some cases allow themselves to be exploited out of desperation for supplies. According to the Ministry of Education for these African countries, the provision of safe feminine hygiene solutions directly decreases dropout rates for girls that have reached menstruation.
Girls will receive hygiene kits they can count on for 3 years. Women and girls learn to make kits via a network of volunteer Ambassadors of Women’s Health who distribute and provide health training, while also training local sewing cooperatives and schoolgirls to make kits themselves. In addition to the personal benefits of receiving a kit, the community economy is enriched as training, tools, and capital become dedicated to expanding access to feminine hygiene solutions.
Girls remain in school allowing them to have access to continuous education and sustainable solutions. This effects current and future generations of women and men, playing an imperative role in breaking the cycle of poverty. Communities are empowered to discuss and provide feminine hygiene, health and sanitation for themselves and others. One woman recently said, “It is as if it is taboo to be a woman.” This program changes that with simple, direct and effective solutions that empower.
I believe each of us can make a meaningful difference in the lives of these women. If you are interested in helping, and if you live anywhere near me, I ‘ll come speak to your group and donate $50 towards supplies towards this wonderful cause. I hope you’ll contact me by leaving a comment below. Thank You.