Days for Girls
February 12, 2018
Written by Kathy Mutch
As we crowded in the classroom to meet the girls in grades 6, 7, 8, I felt such a responsibility to these beautiful young women. I am about to talk with them about the importance of being a woman, being strong, and having choices.
Days for Girls is an organization originating in the USA with international branches (including Prince Edward Island-PEI))which has designed reusable sanitary pads. These well-made kits must meet very high standards before the Days for Girls logo is sewn on the kit bag. The sewing groups on PEI work all year long gathering together to cut, sew, and package kits that are changing the lives of girls on Mageta Island in Kenya.
I begin by asking them about their challenges of managing their “monthly periods”, as they call menstruation, and they explain that they often stay home, missing school, as they don’t have supplies. School work can fall behind and advancing in school becomes more difficult. I share with them the joy of being a woman – our strengths and choices we have- to get an education and choose the paths in life we wish, and the responsibility of having children.
Then we bring out the kits. Matching the girls to size 10, 12, and 14. We break into small groups as MCOH volunteers along with the teachers sit with the girls in small groups to carefully explain each piece in the kit and how they are used.
The girls are so excited with the pretty kits, but quickly settle down to learn how to use. Each piece – shields, liners, underwear, is removed and put together several times by the girls to ensure they know how to use. The facecloths and soap are explained, including how to wash, dry, and maintain the kits so that they can be reused for 3 years.
The girls beam as we gather for pictures. I only wish each sewer could join us here to see the amazing impact the gift of your time, skill and generosity makes to each of the girls.
I ask all skilled sewers to consider helping in this project. We did not have enough kits for all the girls in the schools. As these girls patiently wait our return, they will continue to miss school and struggle with managing their periods.