Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What I'm Working on Wednesday

I haven't been completing any projects lately, so that has left me without much to post! Today I wanted to share something that is a work in progress -- and hopefully will be a work in progress for a long time.

Last month, I was searching for a sewing service project for my church sewing group to work on. I found many great projects, including Operation Smile, Project Linus, and Dress A Girl Around the World. Those all look like wonderful projects and there are many more out there. The one I finally settled on is Days for Girls

This organization makes and distributes reusable feminine hygiene kits to girls and women in developing countries. I think the reason this particular project appealed to me is because the sewing is fairly simple, but the impact can be enormous. I have lived a pretty sheltered life and it wasn't until I found this organization that I ever even thought about how these women without access to clean water or feminine hygiene products deal with their menstrual cycles. Those of us in the U.S. take things like disposable maxi pads for granted, and the more I read about Days for Girls, the more I wanted to help.
"What if not having sanitary supplies meant DAYS without school, DAYS without income, DAYS without leaving the house? Girls use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find...but still miss up to 2 months of school every year. Worse, girls are often exploited in exchange for hygiene. It turns out this issue is a surprising but instrumental key to social change for women all over the world. The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school."
So I started my own DfG team! Every week, I spend a couple of hours working on these (either alone or with a few friends). There are a lot of pieces that go in each kit and my goal is to complete 10-15 kits before sending them in.

Cutting all the pieces out for the kits.

You can see what's in a kit here. Each one is contained in a colorful drawstring bag so that the women can carry their kit with them.

Colorful drawstring bags.

Each kit includes moisture-proof shields and absorbent pads. These are all made out of cotton and flannel so that they can be easily washed and quickly dried.

Moisture proof shields (one in-progress and one finished).

The kits will also include soap, a ziplock bag, a pair of panties, and a washcloth, as well as instructions on how to use the kit.
"The DfG kit design is the result of feedback from women all over the world. Listening is an approach that results in solutions that work. That's important, because every washable Feminine Hygiene Kit gives back up to 6 months of living in just 3 years of use. That's 180 days of education, health, safety and dignity."

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