Published Wed, Mar 29, 2023
Written by Sarah Pietryga
Historically in Sierra Leone, female students lucky enough to attend school have struggled to keep up since menstruation meant missing several days of school every single month. Recognizing the problem, EduNations began partnering with Days for Girls International back in 2019 to keep our girls in school.
Days for Girls International improves access to menstrual education and care by distributing Days for Girls (DFG) Menstrual Kits to girls who do not have access to feminine hygiene products. Each DFG kit has reusable pads and liners, a washcloth, a couple pairs of underwear, soap, a pouch for washing and storing, a care and use instruction sheet, and a drawstring tote. The DFG kits are hand sewn and assembled by Days for Girls volunteers in chapters all over the world.
Since EduNations began its collaboration with Days for Girls, we have distributed about 1,100 kits, which last about 2 years, to our female students. Before giving the girls their kits, EduNations’ Psychosocial Coordinator, Fatu Koroma, holds a teaching session, where she walks through care and use of the kit and educates the students about the menstrual cycle. These kits have enabled our girls to stay in school and have drastically increased their confidence surrounding the topic of menstruation. The distribution and education of these kits is also helping to break the negative stigma surrounding menstrual cycles in these communities.
JSS 2 student, Mabinty Kamara, puts it best: “Before this time, I would miss 3 days of school every month because I did not have the proper hygiene kits to use and help me feel safe and confident in school. My grades in school were not encouraging because I missed classes…In my culture, discussing menstruation is a taboo. But with the help of EduNations, I am now confident to discuss it, and the kits have helped me in my grades and generally at school because I do not have to miss class anymore!”
Thank you for helping us ignite hope for our girls in Sierra Leone!