By: Deja Leonard
Days for Girls helps girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene and awareness, by direct distribution of sustainable feminine hygiene kits. Thanks to a global grassroot network of thousands of volunteers and supporters on six continents, they have reached women and girls in 75+ countries on six continents.
On Saturday, March 21, the Calgary chapter came together to create feminine hygiene kits. The room was filled with over 40 women, all working hard to create the different components of these life-changing kits.
There are many places in the world where talking about your period is taboo, and often children whose parents have passed away have no idea what is happening to their bodies once they hit puberty. In some cases, young women who have their periods even think they are dying from aids, like many of their parents have.
The kits are placed in colourful drawstring bags that girls can use as a backpack for school. That way, when their period comes around, they can put the supplies in that same backpack and no one will know they are menstruating.
When the girls receive these kits, they are also taught about reproduction, human rights, personal hygiene and even a few self defense moves.
Without these kits, young women were using cotton, dried corn cobs and leaves to manage their periods.
Every kit contains:
- 2 Ziplock bags so they can wash their supplies with minimal water
- 2 shields with extra absorbency
- 8 liners that are placed in the shields
- 2 pairs of panties
- 1 wash cloth
- 1 bar of soap
Giving the girls these kits is empowering. These kits allow them to attend school consistently, learn about their bodies and know that they are not alone. These specific kits will be going to Nepal, Kenya and Malawi.
How did Days for Girls start in Calgary?
Donna Leuw had lived in Malawi for some time, and upon coming back to Calgary, she knew she wanted to help the women in general. Something that was non-country specific and non-denominational. After from hearing about Days for Girls as a fabric show, she knew this was the organization she wanted to support. Soon after, the Calgary chapter was created.
Follow the Calgary chapter here.