A few months ago I was walking through one of our local shopping centres and saw a couple of ladies with something that looked like kits of sewn items. Of course, I had to stop and have a look but I was with my son and couldn't stay long as we were on our way home so I picked up one of the pamphlets they were giving out to browse through it when I got home. It was a promotion for a charity called Days for Girls which is an organisation that makes kits of sanitary products to send overseas to girls who are don't have any such items so are unable to attend school for several days every month which isn't good for their self image never mind their education.
To be honest, I had never heard of such an organisation and wasn't even aware that such a problem existed for these young girls. I started reading about the reason Days for Girls was started and couldn't believe what I read. Girls had no sanitary products so were using whatever they could find such as leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, rocks, corn husks, banana leaves, feathers and cow dung. One of them who was using corn husks had resulting untreated infections that were so severe the scarring created crippling adhesions.
In some schools the girls were given funds for hygiene if they agreed to have 'relations' with the director of their school. You can read some of there stories in Their Own Stories - Success and Achievement.
This is a worldwide organisation and it is active here in Australia as well. If you are an Aussie and want to help out check the map on this page to see if there is a group near you. There is also an Aussie Facebook page which you can read even if you are not on Facebook. Here is the USA map for my readers on the other side of the world.
I met up with a lady a few weeks ago who was coming to Toowoomba to deliver quite a few kits to our local group so I asked her to bring a kit with her so I could have a look at it. The photos aren't wonderful as we were in a coffee shop and I was trying to be discreet :-)
You can read in the above photo about what is in a kit.
There are instructions in the kit about how to care for and use the items enclosed. They are expected to last for about three years so need to be made well and from good quality fabric.
This pad gives you an idea of how the girls can make them thicker or thinner depending on their need. Then they can be washed as disposable sanitary items just aren't an option in many of these communities.
How can YOU help? Well here is a photo of a kit.
100% cotton and flannelette fabrics
Good used flannelette sheets
Size 8-14 underpants
27x33 cm ziplock bags
Direct Deposit - check out the details of your local Days for Girls group
You could also help with non-sewing tasks like packing, cutting and ironing and/or
Sewing kit components like shields, liners and bags.
What a wonderful organisation! As I said, I never even realised such a problem existed although I should have been aware of it as even the homeless ladies in our own country can find themselves without sanitary products and rely on using toilet paper from public toilets. I did mention this in a post last year and that Share the Dignity was formed to help them in their time of need.
I hope we can all help out in a little way. No matter what our problems are there are always those who are disadvantaged and are much worse off than we are. Don't you agree?