Volunteers needed to make ‘Days for Girls’

Retired RN Judy Douglas is inviting women in the North Okanagan to help her make life a little easier for girls in Third World countries

Judy Douglas is inviting women in the community to join her in helping to make a difference by taking part in Days for Girls.

“Have you ever thought what it would be like to always have to miss out on life three to five days every month? That’s what happens to girls and women in some Third World countries when they are menstruating.”

And that’s how Days for Girls began, after some women in Lyndon, Wash. wanted to give those days back to girls in Uganda. For four years, groups of women have been sewing liners and shields for girls and women to use each month.

“Check out the website   www.DaysforGirls.org,” said Douglas. “This organization was only started in 2008 and already they have served 27 nations on five continents. They estimate that over 50,000 kits have gone into the world as a direct result of their programs.”

The kits are cotton bags filled with feminine hygiene products that are man-made and re-usable, lasting up to at least three years before needing replacement.

“What a wonderful thing to give a girl in a Third World country who has to miss school because she is shunned or lacks a menstrual pad.”

On Wednesday, Douglas invites all who are interested to a work party at Vernon Alliance Church at 1 p.m.

Douglas is a retired registered nurse who has been working in Haiti since its devastating earthquake in January 2010. She has taught nursing there and worked  with Water Project for Haiti.

She is hoping to take some of the menstrual kits with her when she returns to Haiti this fall.

“I know that there are not a lot of hygiene products to buy in Haiti, at least not where I live, so I want to take 100 to 200 samples of these kits back with me to share with females there.

“I also have a friend who has been making these for the past few months and she is going to come to Haiti and help train women to make them, for their own use and to sell.”

But for now, Douglas needs volunteers to learn how to make these supplies. Sewing experience is not required, as there are other jobs involved, such as cutting out fabric or scouting around town to find the best deals on materials.

“We can make these as a group or people can take the cut-out pieces home and sew them as they have time.”

For Wednesday’s session, a number of items are needed: a serger; sewing machines; material (cotton, for shields and bags); flannel (for pads, best if it is colored/patterned); cutting boards and cutters; X-ray film to make templates; thread; gently used wash cloths and towels; drawstring/cord for the bags; new underwear (girls 12/14/16 women’s small, medium, large); large ziploc bags; someone with a membership at Fabricland.

“If you have a friend you would like to invite, please do so — the more the merrier! If you’re worried about making another commitment, don’t feel obliged. Even if you can make one kit, it will change one girl’s life.”

For more information, contact Douglas at  judydouglas@telus.net or 250-545-8877.