Tag Archives: feminine hygiene kits

Days for Girls Feminine Hygiene Kits Completed

Women from the Pensacola Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are proud to be a part of making feminine hygiene kits for women and girls in need through www.DaysForGirls.org.

Young women and girls in developing countries may not have access to sanitary feminine hygiene products to use during their monthly menstrual periods. What if not having sanitary supplies meant missing days from school or days of isolation? Many girls have to make do with leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks or whatever else they can find, but still miss up to two months of education and opportunities every school year. Over time, this missed education perpetuates poverty in their lives.

Be an Instrument for Change in the World

Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pensacola, Florida, accepted the challenge to be an instrument for social change for women all over the world. When they learned that hygiene items they have used for years were not available in other places, they selected a service project to create reuseable sanitary feminine hygiene kits working with the Days for Girls, an organization set up to organize volunteer seamstresses.

Sewers created the three basic parts in the hygiene kits  from patterns developed by this international organization. The parts include flannel inserts to absorb menstrual flow. These liners are made from flannel serged around the edges to prevent fraying and include an additional center strip for extra absorbancy. These are placed into shields which snap through the legs of under panties.

feminine hygiene
photo by: Billie Nicholson

Shields are made from colorful 100% cotton fabric and contain a waterproof liner stitched inside. They have end pockets to hold the liners in place. Darker colors are preferred because they camouflage blood stains. When they are  not in use, they can all be stored in drawstring fabric bags.

Feminine Hygiene
photo by: Robert Nicholson

Making Feminine Hygiene Kits

The first evening, thirty ladies got together from four different church congregations. Enthusiasm for the project spread throughout the area. During the summer and fall, work groups met monthly  at five locations across the Florida Panhandle. As the project continued, unfinished items moved from work group to work group. The project included school age girls to grandmothers . Even  non-sewers could help by cutting patterns, ironing and turning parts inside out was .

Feminine Hygiene
Photo by: Billie NIcholson

Work sessions were scheduled and announced on social media as well as the volunteer service website, JustServe.org. This free website allows organizations to post upcoming projects and the number of volunteers needed. It provides a place for workers to sign up and communicate with the organization as well as collects metrics on how many volunteer hours were donated.

Completed Feminine Hygiene Kits

Completed kits include the three sewn parts as well as panties, soap, Ziplock bags for storing and washing soiled items. The kits also include health and hygiene information.

How did the Pensacola group do? At last count, the group had completed:
749 flannel liners
351 shields and
294 drawstring bags.

What kind of influence do these kits have? They help girls stay in school, strengthen confidence and support healthy communities.

What difference do they make? After distribution, school absences dropped from 25% to 3% in Uganda. In Kenya they dropped from 36% to 8%. In general, women menstruate 60 days or 2 months a year. Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits are designed to last 2-4 years. Imagine earning back 240 days of opportunity.

Since their establishment, Days for Girls has developed a global network of over 780 chapters and teams, companies, governments, and non-government organizations in over 100 countries.

In addition to organizing volunteer seamstresses around the world, currently, they are also running micro-enterprises for women’s groups in under developed countries to make these kits and provide for women in their communities.

They are working to help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene, vital health knowledge, and income generation opportunities.

In conclusion, working on this project, women across the Florida Panhandle have come together to serve women in other parts of the world. They remember, “when you are in service to your fellow man, you are in the service of your God.”

For additional information on this project, contact www.DaysforGirls.org.

For additional local projects in which you can volunteer, visit: www.JustServe.org. You’ll be glad you did.

Making Feminine Hygiene Kits – A Project for Everyone

Girls in developing countries around the world suffer indignities, infection and even exploitation during the menstrual flow times of their life. Without sanitary supplies contained in feminine hygiene kits, girls and young women miss days from school and have their ability to work impacted. Without pads, they may have to use rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers, and cow dung to manage their menstruation.

Often girls miss several days of school each month impacting their education and perpetuating poverty in their lives. In Uganda, where the feminine hygiene kits have been introduced, the school absenteeism has dropped from 36% to 8% in Uganda. Schools in Kenya have reported a change from 25% to 3% .

feminine hygiene kits
Days for Girls

Making Feminine Hygiene Kits for Days for Girls

Days for Girls International is a grassroots 501(c)3 non-profit. Women, and girls discover their potential and self-value, are equal participants and agents of social change. They have opportunities to thrive, grow and contribute to their community’s betterment while ensuring quality sustainable feminine hygiene. Their mission is to create a more dignified, free and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions and health awareness.

The Pensacola congregation, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ladies service organization President, Billie Nicholson, said, “Julia Gibson, from Gulf Breeze, FL introduced this program during a church women’s group meeting. She explained how women  in developing  countries have unhealthy feminine hygiene. Many of us were aghast. We had no idea that items we have used each month for years were not available other places.”

Then she told of the international project, Days for Girls,  created to organize volunteers to sew feminine hygiene kits. Julia described how excited young ladies are when they receive the kits. They  are also taught ways to care for the reusable kits so they will last for several years. Following our meeting, many women  wanted to know how to be a part of this sewing project. (Picture chickens chasing June bugs.)
“The excitement was contagious,” Nicholson said.

Work Events Planned

One of our members, Wendi Mihalik, contacted representatives of Days for Girls to get details on how to get started. She learned what types of fabric were needed and how to order some hard-to-get supplies. Within a few days, we scheduled a work event. We posted the project  on  the community service website, www.JustServe.org and on social media pages that were shared over and over. The night of our event, we had thirty women from four different Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wards show up. Women and young girls  cut patterns and fabric. They serged, ironed, and sewed items to create  components of the  feminine hygiene kits.

Days for Girls, Int’l. has designed reusable pads, shields and drawstring bags, which can be sewn by volunteers. They are part of kits that also contain panties, soap and plastic bags for washing them. The kits also include health and hygiene information. Workers inspect each item for quality of construction.

Work Events Go Viral

Needless to say, we didn’t finish that first night.  We scheduled a second event  for the following Saturday. That allowed us time to complete 34 shields and many reusable pads. Some women took drawstring bag sets home to continue working on their own. It didn’t stop there. The desire to work on this project has spread to five more church wards in our Stake (regional organization). Navarre, Fl Ward has a meeting planned Thursday July 21 and Milton Ward is having a meeting on August 25.

Feminine Hygiene Kits Final Destination

As we work together, we take unfinished items from one group to the next. Some of the kits are already on their way to a Days for Girls Uganda chapter in Orem, Utah.

The Pensacola stake sisters finished the following items to send—
59 bags
41 shields
345 liners

We will send more completed kits in November. Working on this project, women across the Florida Panhandle have come together to serve women in other parts of the world.