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Your Healthy Family: Days for Girls helps young women all over the world

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Days for Girls uses that day to raise awareness about their organization who aims to help young girls in underdeveloped nations deal with basic feminine hygiene. Days for Girls uses that day to raise awareness about their organization who aims to help young girls in underdeveloped nations deal with basic feminine hygiene.

Wednesday October 11th, 2017 was the International Day of the Girl.   A group called Days for Girls uses that day to raise awareness about their organization who aims to help young girls in underdeveloped nations deal with basic feminine hygiene.

Ann Rodman lives in Colorado Springs, and is a Regional Event Planner with Days for Girls.  Ann explains, "Days for Girls is an organization that provides reusable sustainable feminine hygiene care for women and girls around the world because having a period shouldn't be in the way of living your life.  For a lot of women and girls in the world it is.  It stops them from going to school and stops them from going to work and really stops them from living life. So Days for Girls provides a way for them to regain their dignity and take away the shame and to really go out and be who they are supposed to be."

Marci Edginton is the Days for Girls team leader in Colorado Springs and clearly remembers when she was introduced the organization.  "My mother a couple of years ago came and told me about this charity that she was working with and I thought it was crazy.  Since then I have learned what it means for the girls that don’t have access to feminine hygiene solutions.  They are missing school and it really damages their future when they're not in school.  Once I learned the impact that it had, I wanted to be involved."

Marcia has a sewing room in her Colorado Springs home dedicated almost exclusively to sewing hygiene kits.  "I have always wanted to help others and I have found a lot of different kind of charities, but this just makes such a huge impact. It’s great to be able to do it at home and to be able to have a huge impact for other people that desperately need help. I really enjoy sewing so I started out small, just making one of the three parts of the kit that are sewn.  It's just been in the last year that I've started making complete kits and sending them out to be distributed.”

Marcia she leads a group of volunteers in the Springs who help assemble kits year around.  “We have sewing events every other month or so and we have between thirty to eighty people come to those.  I also have some fantastic sewers that do stuff at home and work on their own.  In 2017 the Colorado Springs team has sent out three hundred seventy kits to be delivered to various parts of the world, we also have more kits that will be sent out shortly."

While Marcia hasn’t traveled in person to deliver kits overseas, she knows the impact they have.  “Oh I love to see pictures of my kits being distributed.  When I sew I think about the girls. I like to buy beautiful, colorful fabric and I hope that they appreciate that.  I really do think about them a lot when I'm working and I hope it's something that will be of great value to them.”

Ann Rodman has had the opportunity to see first hand the gratitude on young women's faces for receiving such a simple, yet impactful gift.  “I got to go to Nepal last year and see this in action.  Before I actually saw it I didn't really understand how it all worked.  When we did a Days for Girls in Nepal, some of the girls walked three hours in the rain to receive their education and their kits. They were so happy! Now they can live their lives and not be ashamed anymore.”

Marcia describes what comes in each hygiene kit, that costs about 10 dollars to make.  “Each kit comes in a cute little fabric bag that they can carry stuff to and from school and a kit contains two pairs of underwear a washcloth a bar soap. The working part of the kit is the liners and the shield. The liners are flannel and square, it looks like a washcloth. That’s on purpose so there's no embarrassment for the girls. The shield is a piece of fabric that has a waterproof layer in it, and this actually has snaps on it so it snaps in their underwear.

The liners get tucked inside of the shield. Each kit has 2 shields and 8 liners. The kits have been through 28 designs based on feedback from the field.

They also get heavy duty Ziploc bags.  These are actually their washing machines because they're in places where water is scarce and so they're trained on how to use them so it's not a strain on their other resources.”

Ann explains that along with the kit, the young ladies are also given education to make sure these kits will be used properly because one of these hygiene kits taken care of properly will last 3 years.  “When they receive their kit they receive education about how their bodies work, women's health, and how babies are made. They learn about self defense, they learn about germs and how to stay well and that they're powerful as women.  They learn that they can be a good influence the world, and they don’t have to be ashamed because of their period.”

This year days for girls has a very specific goal to reach and they are looking for your help to make it happen says Ann, “This year our campaign is called #countHERin.  It’s awesome

this year because it's both money donations as well as kit donations.  Every kit Marcia and other volunteers make during the campaign will be counted.  Days for Girls to this date has reached just over 800,000 girls, and our goal by the end of the year is to reach one million girls in the world.  It’s a big goal but at Days for Girls, we believe in miracles.

If you'd like to donate to the count her in campaign, I want you to know that your donation is really important and so special because just $10 dollars can keep one girl in school for up to three years.”

While money donations help, that's not the only way you can make a difference in a young girl’s life.  All you need to do is get in touch with Ann or Marcia if you would like to join in, in some way.

Ann explains, “You can either reach out to myself or Marcia.  If you want to donate money you can, if you want to help get involved with donating supplies for kits or helping sew kits, then reach out to Marcia. She’s our team leader here in Colorado Springs so she can really help you navigate how to do that.”

Marcia says, “You can contact me either through my Colorado Springs Days for Girls email, or we have a Facebook page where we’ll post information on events and how they can help. You don't have to be a sower, there are lots of jobs that don't involve any sewing knowledge at all.”

Here in Colorado Springs Ann says a private donor has pledged up to 10 thousand dollars in matching funds for every dollar that is donated locally.

All donations go directly to Days for Girls. You can donate here: donate.daysforgirls.org/dayscount

For more information about Days for Girls and how you can *donate or get directly involved reach out to Ann or Marcia.

Connect with:

Ann Rodman at: annr@daysforgirls.org

Marica Edginton at: coloradospringsco@daysforgirls.org

You can find the Colorado Springs Days for Girls Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Days-for-Girls-Colorado-Springs-CO-Team-1920975881555986/

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