Days for Girls

Skills Center to be built

The women of Kanyenyeva will have a dedicated space to make reusable sanitary pads in the new skills center.

A new building will be constructed at the orphan project this summer. This new building will house a skills center for the community of Kanyenyeva. When completed, the building will be equipped with solar lighting, running water, and indoor plumbing for restrooms.

Kanyenyeva Ministries has been approved by Days for Girls International to begin an enterprise where women in the community will make and sell reusable sanitary products in their community and throughout their country. The building will provide a sheltered space for work and secure storage for their equipment and inventory.

A separate room will be utilized as a study space for high school students. Additional space will also be available for men in the community to learn new skills and start businesses. Kanyenyeva Ministries is researching the feasibility of teaching sandal making so that the men can start a sandal making business.


The construction of this skills center will enable the women and men of Kanyenyeva to produce marketable products and the high schoolers to have a place to study in the evening. Having a business producing and selling reusable sanitary pads will provide a source of income for women in the community and allow girls and women throughout Malawi to have an affordable and viable solution for menstrual hygiene in a country where the girls and women typically miss school and work since their alternatives are primitive and sometimes nonexistent. These businesses will enable the people in the community to expand their repertoire of skills and options for income beyond sustainable farming.

The construction of the hall is the first phase of the project and is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Christmas offerings of Westwood Community Church in the Minneapolis, MN area.

The second phase of the project will include the addition of solar and generator power and plumbing for indoor restrooms. The second phase is projected to cost $15,000 – $20,000 and will begin after the money is raised. If you would like to donate to this project, please click here.

Sanitary pads will help keep girls in school

DSC_0142

EMPOWER

“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

Email: penny@ekegrens.com

Cell phone: 419-631-7151

Days for Girls

DSC_0142

EMPOWER

“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

Email: penny@ekegrens.com

Cell phone: 419-631-7151

Sanitary pads to keep girls in school

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Washable tri-fold sanitary pad

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Postpartum and regular moisture barrier shields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sanitary Pads to Keep Girls In School

There are girls in Malawi and around the world who are unable to attend school because they are menstruating, a natural occurrence for most teenage girls. These girls do not have access to disposable pads. They use corn husks, leaves, rags, whatever is available.

For 5 – 7 days each month, these girls are unable to go to school and then have a difficult time keeping up with their studies. Many girls stop attending school in their early teens and then are reliant upon others for food and clothing.FullSizeRender(2)

Days for Girls International works to help every girl everywhere have an education and break the cycle of poverty. One simple way to do this is to provide each girl with a washable Feminine Hygiene Kit.  A kit consists of a drawstring bag for the girl to carry her supplies to and from school, two one gallon size resealable plastic bags to transport and soak and launder soiled items, two moisture barrier shields, a bar of soap, a washcloth, two pairs of panties, eight absorbent tri-fold sanitary pads, and a visual instruction sheet.

FullSizeRender(5)Days for Girls in Yellow Springs, Ohio and Malawi Orphan Care Project have been working together to prepare 100 kits to go to Malawi after Christmas this year. Days for Girls in Mesa, Arizona, made some kits that will be going to Malawi, too. While in Malawi, the team that will be bringing the kits will research if the materials needed to make the moisture barrier shields and tri-fold sanitary pads are available so the women at the project can make more.

Providing kits is a new venture that Malawi Orphan Care Project plans to continue. Please contact us if you are interested in sewing or if you can donate supplies or donate financially so many of the supplies can be purchased in Malawi.