Published : Friday, January 27, 2017 | 12:40 PM
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s student club, FIA (Feminists in Action), is committed to the support of equal rights and equal opportunities for women everywhere. We especially recognize the challenges of young women around the world who do not share many of the same resources and rights that we enjoy here in the United States. In support of those women, we have dedicated ourselves to a service project that is designed to keep girls in school.
Days for Girls is an organization that arranges for groups and individuals to participate in sewing projects designed to create reusable feminine hygiene products for girls who typically, for a variety of reasons, miss crucial days of school when they have their periods. In developing countries like Uganda, the absentee rates for girls who received donated kits dropped from 36 percent to percent. According to Days for Girls, “women menstruate 60 days, or 2 months a year. Days for Girls kits last 2-4 years, which can earn back up to 240 days of opportunity.
Keep reading for details on how to get involved!
The Huffington Post has designated Days for Girls as a “Next Ten” organization, positioned to make significant changes in the world in the next ten years. They have also been awarded the 2015 African Seed Award for gender equality and entrepreneurship and enjoyed recognition at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in both 2015 and 2016.
The members of FIA have solicited donations of fabric, supplies, talent, and time in order to hold highly successful and productive sewing days where members have not only participated in this meaningful project, but also acquired new skills. These sewing workshops are wonderful opportunities for our girls to join together in a community of women and know that their time and labor will have a direct impact on actual individual girls in other communities around the globe. We calculated that the fruits of our last session would keep three girls in school for three years. According to Unicef “Adolescent girls that attend school delay marriage and childbearing, are less vulnerable to disease including HIV and AIDS, and acquire information and skills that lead to increased earning power.”
Parent, Laura Paszkiewicz (Emily ’17), has been a tremendous help in organizing the project and instructing the students in sewing. Tara Pugliese (sophomore FIA Board member) spent time with Laura this summer, creating templates for the project.
“As moderator of FIA, it has been immensely gratifying to see our girls grow in their awareness of and commitment to young women around the world. Such a commitment to the economic, educational, and social advancement of women reflects the ideals of our mission to empower young women for a life of faith, integrity, and truth,” said Holly Hunnewell.
Below is the list of materials required to make Days for Girls kits. Donations are gratefully accepted and can be delivered to room 28.
• 1 gallon ziplock freezer bags
• Panties: Girls (size 10-14)
• Travel-sized soap (unwrapped)
• Fabric: please note that all fabric and thread should be of medium to dark shades because of staining. The girls do not have access to bleach.
• Medium to dark polyester thread
• PUL (Poly Urethane Laminate fabric- washable, breathable, non-toxic)
Fabric guidelines: Use bright, colorful, pretty, washable fabric. Quality durable 100% flannel is also appropriate. Do not use anything with animals, reptiles, war, camouflage, glam, bugs, knives or anything culturally-specific; these items are forbidden in some cultures, as well as inappropriate in many others. Florals and geometrics are best. Bags must last three years of daily use (the girls use them every day, not only a few days each month). Use quality materials. Good quality quilter’s cotton is good. Fabric may be 100% cotton or poly-cotton blend.
Drawstring Guidelines: The best option for drawstrings is 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch twill tape or similar. You could also use ribbon of similar width. Do not use tiny cording or string because it digs into the skin and is not comfortable to wear. The drawstring must be washable and durable.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, 440 Saint Katherine Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, (626) 685-8500 or visit www.fsha.org.