WPIG Summer of Giving: part 3 – Days for Girls
On July 28, we gathered at the home of member Jen Lyons to sew drawstring bags for the organization, Days for Girls. We were first introduced to DFG when a member nominated them to be a recipient of our Quarterly Give. They were selected along with Camp Starlight and El Centro de la Raza. Days for Girls is an organization that empowers girls and women worldwide with more dignity, health and safety through access to quality sustainable menstrual health management and education. Currently serving in 57 nations on 6 continents and growing. Volunteers around the globe craft washable feminine hygiene kits and help women in impoverished communities to train others to teach about health, hygiene and how to make their own supplies. What if not having feminine supplies kept you isolated during menstruation? No study for DAYS. No income for DAYS. No access to hygiene… for DAYS. It happens worldwide to women in impoverished communities. They miss up to 8 months of school in 3 years to this issue. Girls use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, the list goes on … all to try to stay in school. These often lead to painful infection. Worse, girls are often exploited in exchange for hygiene to keep them in school (see one girl telling her story here). This also effects early marriage, as menstruating girls who are not in school are considered “eligible” regardless of age. It turns out this issue is one of the keys to social change. It’s hard to imagine, but true all over the world.
In order to give girls and women their days back, DFG distributes menstrual kits. Each kit includes 2-1 gallon Ziploc freezer bags which can be used to transport soiled items and soaking/laundering items with very little water; 2 moisture barrier shields that hold liners in place while stopping leaks; 8 absorbent tri-fold pads that when folded and/or layered provide extra coverage and when unfolded, wash with very little water and dry quickly; 1 washcloth, 1 pair of panties, 1 visual instruction sheet, and 1 drawstring bag that holds the entire kit. Each kit gives back up to 6 months of living I just 3 years of use for each girl who gets one. Volunteers can choose to focus on one item in the kit or assembling full kits. We decided to focus on the drawstring bag for our first time out. DFG provides complete instructions on how to make each piece and include FAQ’s on their website to help cover any questions your group may have. We had a blast working on these and after just a few hours, we had 40 completed bags! We’re very exciting to send these out and to help a few girls gain back their days.