Beijing is not short of charities that we can support. One charity which is not located in Beijing, but has a huge support network here, came to my attention when one of my expat friends told me about it. “Days for Girls” provides girls with sustainable sanitary products. My friend would sew them herself, and went on a volunteer trip to give them to girls in need. The stories that she told me were truly heartbreaking, and heartwarming at the same time.
During my time in Beijing, I have met more inspiring women who volunteer for “Days for Girls”; they spend their time caring for these girls with very simple needs. Several clothes auctions have donated their proceeds to this cause.
“Every girl and woman with ready access to feminine hygiene, by 2022. Days for Girls is dedicated to creating a more free, dignified, and educated world, through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education. Thus far, Days for Girls has reached over 800,000 women and girls. We can reach them all, with your help”
I remember my first period vividly, I was 12 years old and it was summer. I was at the public pool, ready to change into my bathing suit when I saw something red in my underwear. I and my friend had to return home, without jumping in the pool. I had half a toilet roll stuffed in my underpants while biking through our neighborhood. Back home my mother was gardening, and when I told her she congratulated me. I was confused. I am bleeding and you congratulate me?
From then I started to have monthly cramps; they were unbearable. I bled so much, even my mother was confused that I used so many sanitary pads. My back pains and cramps were so horrible, I would stay home from school. Every month I would vomit from pain, and on one occasion I fainted in my friend’s bathroom. I was brought to the doctor and put on birth control to ease my pain and my unstoppable bleeding. I was only 12 years old, not even in high school, not even close to being an adult.
There are girls in this world that have no sanitary pads. They have to sit on a cardboard box till their bleeding stops. They have to pause their lives every month. “Celeste Mergens founded Days for Girls at a time when virtually no other organizations were speaking about the global need for menstrual hygiene management solutions.” Days for Girls’ website brings a tear and a smile to my face. All these volunteers making and distributing reusable sanitary kits for girls around the world. For more information visit their website, and be ready to be amazed. www.daysforgirls.org
“Perhaps the most demonstration of gratitude we have ever “heard” was at a deaf school in Kisii, Kenya. The girls there watched the signing translator introduce each of the DfG team after each introduction they politely signed “hello” and then raised their hands and wiggled their fingers,, a sign we were told represented a cheer. But when they were told that the team had brought washable feminine hygiene solutions, their eyebrows raised and their arms shot into the air and they waved their hands with wild enthusiasm. It was the most powerful evidence of the joy these DfG Kits bring that our teams had ever witnessed. Supporters made it all possible.”
“Every girl and woman has inherent worth and dignity. Days for Girls celebrates this by providing sustainable feminine hygiene solutions and health education. When girls and women have health, education, and opportunity, communities and our world are stronger.”