The Free Motion Quilting Project: Empowering Women - Days for Girls

Friday, September 9, 2011

Empowering Women - Days for Girls

Have you ever felt, after finding something, that you were looking for it all along?

I feel this way about Days for Girls, a program a fellow quilter introduced me to a few months ago. Only after finding out about this wonderful organization did I realize that I'd been searching for a way to help and empower other women.

Basically this is an organization set up to help girls in impoverished countries stay in school. What is stopping these girls from attending? Simple - their cycle.

While it may seem difficult to wrap our Walmart warped minds around it, in other countries they don't have grocery store isles full of hygiene products. When girls come of age, you can imagine what happens: every woman's nightmare, a public display of their cycle all over their pants, in front of their classmates.

Here's a first hand account from the director of Days for Girls, :

"What we see at DFG is tremendous need. There is the email from a young girl whose family could not spare the money to purchase feminine hygiene products.

She tried using newspaper, which gave her a rash, and toilet paper, which promptly soaked through her school uniform. After being taunted by the boys at school when she got blood on her skirt, she complained of headaches during her periods to stay home from school.

These girls are often skipped over for Secondary education because of their "handicap" of menstruation absenteeism. The desire to stay in school is so strong that many (not a few) are sexually exploited in exchange for feminine hygiene. Several women hearing our presentations said they had not thought of menstruation being a good thing until our presentations. Our presentations are also a unique time to discuss hygiene, health and the value of women."
So that's what this program does - it gives girls back their days. Instead of hiding at home, too embarrassed to attend school, too afraid of another accident, girls are able to stay in school confident of their ability to stay clean.

What I love the most is there are many ways to help! If you'd like to contribute to Days for Girls you can:
  • Donate money - 100% of everything donated to this organization actually reaches the people it's intended to help. You can see the many ways you can help right here.
  • Sew pads, shields, or drawstring bags - Sewing these items is essential for the program. Each girl is given a drawstring bag of sewn hygiene items that can be washed and reused year after year. Excellent videos on creating pads and shields can be found right here.

  • Donate supplies - Washcloths, soap, and sturdy ziplock bags help to create kits to be given to each girl Days for Girls reaches.

  • Buy a necklace - this beautiful necklace symbolizes all that Days for Girls does for the young women it reaches and the sale of 1 necklace funds 1 kit to be created.
What I love about this organization is that 100% of the money and supplies donated actually gets to the people in need.

I'm pretty tired of my charity donations just padding the pockets or paying the "administration fees" of the people in charge. With Days for Girls, everything donated is actually used by the women who need our help.

I can think of nothing more empowering - giving girls back the days they would normally spend alone, embarrassed, hating the very thing that makes them a woman. It's time we gave these girls their days back to study, learn, grow, and prosper.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Thank you for this information! What a great organization - and obviously desperately needed.

  2. Awesome project - something I can do to use up leftovers and help someone.

  3. YES. Thank you for sharing this Leah. I'd never heard of this program before, but would love to be involved now. I'm going to take it up with my modern quilting guild too. We're always looking for ways to use our sewing for charity.

  4. Thank you for this fantastic information. How empowering. I intend to look into this more.

  5. When I was 12, at school in Malaysia, a friend got her period in class. Her whole backside was soiled and we were ever so shocked. She was the first to get her period in our class. Your blog made me realised how bad the situation could be without feminine products. We take these items for granted. My daughter who is a senior at university makes her own feminine pads. She is majoring in Environmental studies and tries to reuse alot of things. So we will definitely check this organisation out to help young girls.
    Leah, you are just awesome!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this! What an eye-opener.

  7. Leah, thanks so much for getting the word out about Days for Girls. I have been sewing for them for about six months, and can tell you that they do marvelous work.
    BTW, if anyone ever buys online from or Hancock fabrics, if you use the links on the Days for Girls website a portion of the purchase will be donated to DFG.

  8. It is so nice to find an organization where 100% of donations are used directly to help and not for administration needs. I also realize how ignorant I am of how women in some countries are exploited and lack the basic necessities that we take for granted. Thank you for sharing this website with us.

  9. Hi Leah
    this is such a marvellous project that I do hope you don't mind that I have posted it on my blog

  10. Leah,

    Here is another very worthy project - Operation Smile to correct cleft palates - which my mom and I have been doing for a long time. We have been making hospital gowns but they also need blankets (i.e. small quilts).

  11. I was so irritated when Always pads started their advertisement in a similar vein, since it seemed self-serving and impractical and wasteful for disposable products to be sent as aid. So I am very glad to hear someone is doing this with reusable fabric pads!!!! I asked a missonary friend what they do where she's at: she wears a Diva cup, others use cloth pads, and the poorest just let it flow. This may become a group project for me and some friends that have a sewing/crafting night once a month. Thanks for the info!

  12. Tuve la oportunidad de acompañar a un grupo de Leones de Alaska en su visita a la escuela de Camanchaj, aldea de EL Quiché, Guatemala. Excelente sin duda la distribución de kits para las niñas pero mucho más importante la plática sobre salud sexual paea evitar emvarazos juveniles. Por favor, yo necesito acceder a ese material, en español, para exponer en clase. Agradeceré me indiquen dónde conseguirlo y su costo.


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