At Mosi-Oa-Tunya High School in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, we had a very productive morning distributing Days for Girls sanitary packs to the senior classes. The donation of sanitary packs was initiated by Mr Wilson, an Overseas Adventure Travel guest who travelled to Zimbabwe and was struck by the plight of girls as they deal with menstruation. After returning to the US, Mr Wilson joined Days for Girls and began sewing and creating sanitary packs with the Stanwood Camano Island Chapter group. The Days for Girls sanitary packs are comprehensive, and include two sets of underwear, reusable pads, a towel, soap, and a spare plastic bag so that the girls have everything they need. This distribution marked the second occasion that Mr Wilson was able to be present.
Form 4-6 girls, aged between 16 and 18, gathered in a classroom and were given a demonstration of how to use the reusable pads. An explanation was also given as to the benefits of using reusable pads instead of disposable ones. A crucial aspect of these distributions is also providing girls with an educational and motivational talk. With the stigma associated with menstruation and basic sexual health and awareness, conversations such as these are a vital part of their education. Thus, Mr Wilson, together with a CITW staff member, and Barbara Murasiranwa, a prominent local businesswoman in Victoria Falls, spoke to the girls about how important it was to look after themselves, as well as the importance of not giving up on what they want to achieve in life.
Menstruation is a significant challenge for girls in this area, as the cost of sanitary items is unaffordable for most. This forces girls to skip school, meaning that they miss out on a considerable amount of learning time each year. Having the sanitary packs will allow the girls to continue attending school, ensuring that they are not disadvantaged.
The effort in making these packs is hugely appreciated and they will go a long way in making a difference in these girls’ lives. We are so grateful for Mr Wilson and are thankful for the ongoing support that he and his group are providing.