Look at this beautiful face. Look at that harsh thorn bush behind her. This beautiful girl has just stepped away from circumstances that might have prevented her from realizing her dreams. She steps away with a Days for Girls kit that will allow her to go forward with confidence and joy. I can feel it. Can you? What a beautiful representation of all the good we stand for and all the pain and stigma she leaves behind. Bravo. This photo brings tears to my eyes.
Our Payson, Utah women worked hard to prepare kits and supplies for these women and girls in Kenya this week. Lauri Wall, working with Tabibu Africa, Inc., helped deliver these kits. They also took sewing supplies and taught business class. Lauri sent these photos to me today. They take my heart away from here to there. Oh, how I love my sisters in Africa! Lauri posted this on Facebook today:
What is the one thing every girl has in common regardless of race or ethnicity? Menstrual cycles. Yes, periods. What is the one thing every girl deserves? Clean, safe sanitary protection. Here in the US females have the luxury of aisles and shelves with all types of feminine protection. However, in third world countries, this luxury doesn’t exist. Many girls use old rags, corn cobs, tree bark, small sand bags, cardboard and more. These items cause infection and ill health. If girls have no protection, they are not allowed to attend school for a week each month, which is twelve weeks a year. Thus, girls tend to fall behind in their education and some even drop out of school altogether ensuring illiteracy and an early marriage is enviable.
I had the amazing opportunity to become involved with Days For Girls, an organization that firmly believes every girl, everywhere, should have the resource of clean, healthy protection. PERIOD! Two-hundred Days For Girls kits (which included washable-reusable sanitary pads, shields, panties, washcloths and soap all in a cute fabric bag) were recently delivered to the girls of the Nkoilale Boarding school. Cheers of joy, applause, smiles and gratitude showed on the faces of the girls as they proudly carried their kits on their shoulders like a smart purse. Thank you so much Deanna Hansen and Payson West Stake for your involvement with Days For Girls as well as entrusting me to deliver your love and hard work.— with Ann Laemmlen Lewis and 2 others.
After donations of fabric, purchasing fabric, cutting, cutting and more cutting as well as hours of kit assembly. 175 reusable sanitary pad sewing kits were presented to a group of women in Nkoilale, on the Maasai Mara. These women will hopefully turn this into a business that will allow them to be businesses women, as well as mentors for others. Thanks to all who donated fabric and SOS for help in putting kits together. One by one we can all make a difference to that one. I look at these beautiful women there, and think of our beautiful women here and wish wish wish they could meet. Here is one. Meet Linda Roskelley and her husband, Chet, who is blind. Chet and Linda cut and sew drawstrings for our bags, which girls will thread at girls camps this summer by the hundreds. This morning when Linda delivered 150 beautifully sewn drawstrings, promising another armload Thursday, she told me “If we can do this, ANYONE can do this, Anyone can help!” There is no excuse for not helping. There is something all can do. I agree wholeheartedly. We can all help. We all have enough to share. We all can change lives if we choose to.
If you are able to help, please learn how. If you have extra and want to change one girl’s life, $10 will pay for a kit that will do that. Please help us get kits out to these beautiful girls and women. Send us a donation (Days for Girls Utah 24 West 500 South Orem UT 84058). We will put a kit in the hands of a girl who’s life will never be the same.
Days for Girls Utah has sent more than 5500 kits to these countries since May: Ghana, Rwanda, Guatemala, Liberia, Malawi, Honduras, Kenya, India, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Mali, Swaziland, Lesotho, Nepal, Zambia, Ecuador, and Cape Verde.
We are just a bunch of moms and relief society sisters and grandmas young women who want to do a bit to help others. We are doing it. I love you all.