Women's Reproductive Health

Days for Girls: A Simple Solution Makes a Big Impact

Hygiene Kits Improve Girls' and Women's Lives

Days for Girls: A Simple Solution Makes a Big Impact
A standard Days for Girls kit

The United Methodist Women national office recently received a visit from Days for Girls CEO Celeste Mergens and her team to tell us about their non-profit organization.

In 2008, Celeste Mergens was working in community development for an NGO in Kenya. In the wake of the country’s post-election violence, she witnessed a tremendous rise in the number of girls in orphanages. What happens to these girls when they menstruate?, Mergens wondered. She quickly learned that the girls stay in their rooms, sitting on a piece of cardboard, missing out on school and work. What they desperately needed, in Kenya and many other parts of the world, was access to feminine hygiene items. Thus, the non-profit Days for Girls was born, which provides washable, sustainable hygiene kits to girls and women all over the world. Each hygiene kit lasts 2-4 years, giving  girls back months of missed education and opportunity.

The simple Days for Girls hygiene kits have a tremendous impact on women’s and children’s lives. Girls no longer have to miss days of school every month. And when girl are educated, they feed their families and lift their entire society, breaking the cycle of poverty. In addition, the availability of hygiene kits gives girls and women back their dignity, shields them from abuse, and protects their health.

Days for Girls also empowers women to become entrepreneurs and build businesses. The organization helps support training centers in some of the countries where kits are distributed. At the training centers women learn how to make hygiene kits and sell them to schools, NGOs and governments.

In the U.S., the organization is talking to schools, prisons and half-way houses about distributing the kits to girls and women in need.

Getting Involved

Anybody can become involved in Days for Girls’ mission. One way is to form a team and sew hygenie kits for distribution. You can create a team with as few as two people, purchase materials at wholesale prices through Days for Girls, and hand-sew beautiful and sustainable kits that can change girls’ and women’s lives.

To get inspired, read the story in the * UMW Newsletter about a group of United Methodist Women members who formed a team and sewed kits for Days for Girls.

A simple thing like a personal hygiene kit can make an enormous difference in a woman or girls’ life. To learn how you can get involved, visit the Days for Girls website.

 

Posted or updated: 1/14/2016 11:00:00 PM

Resources:

* UMW News, Vol. 8, No. 3 Read about United Methodist Women members who sewed kits for Days for Girls in the UMW Newsletter, page 5.

Link opens in a new window. Day for Girls website


Learn More:

*Visit our Maternal and Child Health page

*Read more Maternal and Child Health stories

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