Bear Paw Quilters Help Girls and Women in Africa

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The contents of a typical feminine hygiene kit collected by the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters for girls in Africa. Kayla Desroches/KMXT photo

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Days for Girls International is an organization that provides feminine hygiene kits and sex education to girls and women mainly in Kenya, Uganda, and the Congo. Kodiak Middle School teacher Jennifer Eubank reached out to the Kodiak Bear Paw Quilters and now they’re compiling their own kits to send to the non-profit. They held an All-Day-Sew on February 28th.

The kit Jennifer Eubank brings in is full of colorful pads: one with psychedelic purple and pink tie-dye, another with big red and yellow flowers. She says she and the other quilters made the kit bags, the pads, and the shields that hold the pads.

“The organization is very specific about the fabric that they would like you to use. No people, no animals, no bugs,” she said. “Geometric designs, flowers, those were great for this.”

Eubank says that she heard about the organization from another quilter.

“As an educator, it worried me that girls couldn’t go to school because they were having their period and so it limited their education for three to five days a month or if they had to work that they would not be able to work because of that.”

Lora Moren is the Days for Girls office manager in Washington.

“They would just sit in their room for the week on a piece of cardboard if they have cardboard,” Moren said.

She says that many girls use the objects they find around them.

“They use rocks as we would use a tampon. They smoosh up leaves and just use them like we would try to use a pad. Same with corn husks, scraps of fabric.”

The pads in the Days for Girls kits are washable and should last two to three years. 

Moren says that the volunteers who deliver the kits also educate women and men about sex, menstrual cycles, and healthy attitudes. 

To donate supplies or your crafting skills, you can email Jennifer Eubank at jeubank99615@gmail.com or visit the Kodiak Bear Paw Quitlers Facebook page for more information.

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