2019 Trip Blog #5
Susan’s Days for Girls Kit Story
Written By Kathy Mutch
Each time I do a Days For Girls presentation, I think of all the sewers on Prince Edward Island who have so generously dedicated their work to improving the lives of girls in Kenyan. I look into the girls eager, bright faces and know that together we are making a difference in their lives.
I begin class with a visualization exercise. The girls are often shy and this can be a difficult topic for them to discuss. They place their hands on their chests and pull out their shyness and place it on the seat beside them. They then place their hands back on their chest flinging their arms wide to open their hearts to learning and discuss. We begin with how important girls and women are in society and to be the best they can be they must first care for their own physical and mental health.
Topics include: female and male anatomy, sexuality, consent (the age of consent in Kenya is 18 years old). We also discuss pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS and how to prevent. Liz, our Beyond Limitations Director is a social worker and she reviews rape and the correct steps to take if a girl is raped.
Girls who have not received a Days For Girls kits before, are given one and taught how to use it. The girls who have received kits last year are quick and so happy to tell us that they really like their kits – they save money, they no longer miss school, the kits are pretty.
This year I met Susan, a 13 year old in class 7 (grade 7). She is the eldest of 3 with an 8 year old brother and 3 year old sister. She likes volleyball, singing, and dancing. And her favourite subjects are math, Kiswahili, and English. She hopes to be a lawyer some day and help protect land owners. Her father is a fisher, so not home much, and her mother works as a fish monger. She was so bright in class, quick to raise her hand to answer questions and to participate.
What did she like about receiving a Days for Girls kit? This is her reply:
- We cannot find kits like this anywhere here
- The teaching and “good news” that was included with the kits was very good
- Kits are made of strong material
- She won’t have to miss classes now
- She can now play and do anything without the pads moving about
What would she like to say to the Sewers on Prince Edward Island:
“They are so good because they like Kenyans. I am thanking them very much.”