This month’s blog post gives a big shout out to Celeste Mergens – the founder of Days for Girls International for her vision and dedication to girls in Kenya and around the world. Days for Girls International helps provide sustainable hygiene kits to girls in third world countries. Contemplating their mission and many times while teaching my Healthy Chats for Girls seminars, I’ve thought that our girls here in the U.S. often take for granted how lucky they are to be able to talk to their moms about how their body changes and have at their disposition the enormous variety of sanitary products to use. Sweet smelling, easy to use and dispose of, and readily accessible to one and all.
The Days for Girls mission addresses that in many third world countries, like Kenya, girls have to stay out of school for three to four days per month during their menstrual cycle because they don’t have sanitary pads to protect their clothing! They stay home and sit on cardboard, or sometimes use things like leaves or corn husks to absorb their menstrual flow. Wow, is right!
Celeste Mergens decided to do something about it and created a grassroots network of volunteers who help sew washable cotton pad kits to distribute to the girls. Hundreds of thousand of women have joined the community and make these kits for distribution in many communities around the world.
Next time your daughter is grumpy about having to deal with her period, look up this website and encourage her to think of ways to participate – www.daysforgirls.org. You can volunteer your talents in lots of ways, even if you’re like me and don’t sew!
For our part, Healthy Chats for Girls will be donating 50% of the proceeds from our My First Period Kit sales to Days for Girls – for one full year. That’s right, all of 2014! We hope that this donation inspires you to – at any point this year – consider getting involved in this cause or one that inspires you, and get your daughter involved as well.
May 2014 bring all our girls – across the country and world – health, hygiene, and knowledge.
Dr. de Freitas