Yay for periods and feminism! A group of students at Gonzaga University is heading to Zambia to deliver reusable hygiene kits to at-risk girls who would normally have to leave school while they have their periods. Inspired by work done by Days for Girls International, the kits created by the Gonzaga-in-Zambezi program include absorbent, washable pads and liners that can be reused for up to three years, providing girls with increased privacy and dignity during menstruation. And that? Might just be the best thing I've heard in a good long while.
Often, girls are considered "unclean" while they have their periods; they are shunned from their communities and almost always leave school during this time. Said Days for Girls office manager Lora Moren to the Seattle Times, "When it's that time of the month, the women go out and stay with the cattle." However, these kits have the potential to be life-changing, according to Moren: Girls will be able to stay in school, which is safer on all counts than being alone and shamed for a natural process.
This is the second year of the Gonzaga-in-Zambezi program, with this year's group consisting of 19 students and three faculty members who will deliver 75 hygiene kits. Days for Girls defines its mission as "creating a more dignified, free, and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions" — a goal which Gonzaga-in-Zambezi shares.
Interested in getting involved with Days For Girls? You can sew kits, fundraise, or start your own chapter. Find out more at the official Days for Girls International website.