Posted by John Ester on Sep 26, 2017
Kathy Ross, Team Leader for Days for Girls- Benzie, holds up part of the sustainable menstrual kit that her organization produces for girls and women worldwide.
Days for Girls - Benzie is part of the 501(c)(3) Days for Girls International.  Kathy explained that in countries where adequate feminine hygiene options are not available--especially to impoverished families--girls and women are often restricted to their homes during their menstrual cycles. Thus they "lose days" and fall behind at school or work. The girls can be further disadvantaged by taboos and cultural beliefs about basic female biology, as well as the prevalence of early marriage and motherhood.
Days for Girls seeks to address the problem by empowering girls with access to sustainable feminine hygiene, as well as sanitation and health training. The organization's slogan:  "Every girl.  Everywhere. Period."
Operating out of the Grow Benzie facility, the local group is made up of 15-20 volunteers who attend work sessions every Thursday to cut, pin, sew, iron and assemble the Days for Girls kits.  As Kathy illustrated, the kits are made up of liners, shields, underpants, a washcloth, a small bar of soap and two gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags.  No kits are distributed without the presence of a qualified teacher to explain how to care for the kits, along with information about personal hygiene, ovulation, sexual safety and related topics that help give girls control of their lives.