Monthly Archives: May 2016

Sanitary pads will help keep girls in school



“Empower”. I recently learned a bit more about what that word means.

A little over a year ago, I attended a national conference for Parish Nurses and viewed a poster session about the Days for Girls program. (DFG)

DSC_0315Days for Girls is a program that aims to enable teenage girls in third-world countries to attend school every day that classes are in session. Sadly, this is not usually the case. Teenage girls stay home during their monthly menstrual period due to lack of sanitary products that can provide them with a sense of security to go out in public without fear of accidents and embarrassment. The girls become, quite literally, prisoners to their bodily functions. They miss school on a regular basis, and thus become continually behind in their lessons, trying to catch up with and compete with the boys. Women beyond school age face similar problems in going about their daily lives. They too often have to stay home and “hide” during their monthly periods.DSC_0135

Days for Girls is an International Program where volunteers sew sanitary kits to be given to both teenage girls and women. Each kit contains washable and reusable “shields” and “liners” that attach around a pair of panties using a snap. Also included in the kits are panties, zip lock bags for storage and washing, a bar of soap, and a washcloth. All kit contents come inside a cloth drawstring bag.

The DFG program concepts continued to fester in my heart and mind long after I returned from my conference. I felt that perhaps this program would be useful in Malawi, but this is a subject that we often don’t think or talk about. I wasn’t sure. To implement such a program even on a small scale, would require a great deal of coordination and education. I decided to bounce the idea off MOCP’s primary female contact in Malawi, Yami Chikoti. Yami is a member of the Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministries (KOCM) Board and works directly with the villagers and village committee in the area of Kanyenyeva where MOCP has been working over the past 10 years.

Yami’s response was an overwhelming and enthusiastic “YES”!! The program would most definitely be welcomed!! Further discussions revealed the need for basic education about female anatomy and reproduction. We would also need to explain the basic usage of such things as panties and snaps! Could the local women be taught to sew additional liners? Would the required fabrics be available locally? How can we teach to sew products in a location without even a table to cut the fabric on? Would the treadle sewing machines even work?

DSC_0349After weeks of prayer, I felt that God was telling me to simply go forward. He would be with us guiding our steps. Details would work themselves out. Do not be afraid.

My fears were taken away and replaced with a reverent joy as I watched the women and girls eagerly learn about the program and immediately want to start right in making more liners! My husband and his engineering students from North Central State College quickly built us a table with dual purpose benches serving as the supports. My sister, Debby Bonte, came along and helped with the sewing instruction. Our initial kits were sewn as a combined effort of Days for Girls programs in Phoenix, AZ, Yellow Springs, Ohio, and members of the First English Lutheran Church in Mansfield, OH.

DSC_0172The girls and women were most definitely EMPOWERED!! It was both humbling and heart warming to watch and listen as they immediately joined together in a song and dance of thanksgiving! One of the village elders also spoke with the girls reminding them what a precious gift had just been given to them. She spoke about how she, and many others before her, went their entire lives without such an opportunity to live their lives every day of the month.

Yami has asked that MOCP try to continue and grow the program to include all of Malawi! KOCM will work with us to find local representatives to help educate the women and distribute the products. God has more plans for us!

If you would like to get involved, either by forming a local sewing group, or by donating funds to purchase items such as the panties and soap, or to help pay for transportation costs, please contact me directly. I am also looking into grant and vendor funding to assist us as we carry this project forward.

Please keep the women and girls in Malawi in your prayers!

Contact: Penny Ekegren, MOCP Secretary

53 Park Ave West, Mansfield, Ohio 44902


Cell phone: 419-631-7151

Mission Trip 2016

DSCN8009This mission team has started their journey to Malawi. They should arrive in Malawi on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. Their first day at the orphan project will be on the 25th of May where they will lead a football (soccer) camp where they will teach football skills and share the gospel with the children. They also plan to help with the feeding program, visit some of the businesses that the Kanyenyeva Ministries has started, and learn about life in Malawi. They plan to return to the US on June 7.

Please pray for Pastor Andy, Egypt, Haley, Sarah, Angie, James, and Mitchell for safety during their trip, for relationships to continue to be developed with the people of Malawi, for God’s will to be done, for everyone to have fun, and for God to be glorified in all that is done.

Manna for Malawi 2016

Manna for M Poster Year 2


Immanuel Lutheran Church (ILC) in Crosby, MN will host Manna for Malawi on Sunday, June 26.

Stop by to enjoy great food and music. The Lamont Cranston Band and Fearless Moral Inventory will be performing.

There will be a silent auction including a new queen size bed package, weekend stays at resorts, quilts, crafts, and more.

Special wines and wine glasses have been made just for this event!

T-shirts will be available, too.

If you plan to be in the Deerwood, MN area on June 26, stop by and enjoy the music, the food, and the fun time! Manna for Malawi will be held at the Woodtick Inn from 4 – 8 pm.

If you cannot join in the fun but want more information, contact Pastor Paul Mattson at

All of the proceed from this event will go directly to the feeding program at the orphan project.