Craig Wilson, an 11-time O.A.T. traveler and Grand Circle Foundation donor, is a member of the Stanwood Camano Island Chapter of Days for Girls, and first alerted us to this worthy organization. We received this update from Children in the Wilderness, the charitable arm of Wilderness Travel, which operates our safaris in southern Africa. Children in the Wilderness has facilitated the distribution of hundreds of hygiene kits in the communities supported by Grand Circle Foundation.
We are grateful to all our partner organizations that manage our projects around the world, particularly while we are unable to travel to Africa.
By Sarah Adams, Community Sustainability & Evaluation Trainer, Children in the Wilderness
Founded in Kenya in 2008, Days for Girls has provided over 1.7 million hygiene kits to women and girls in 127 countries. As these are reusable menstruation products, they go such a long way in helping girls ensure that they have adequate supplies. The kits are also of a high quality, and are comprehensive packs that include the reusable pads and replaceable inners, a towel, soap, underwear, and period tracker chart, all in a beautiful carry-bag.
Menstruation is a significant challenge for girls in this region, as the cost of sanitary items is unaffordable for most. This has been made worse by the coronavirus, as livelihoods have been lost and poverty has increased; many people are struggling to feed their families, let alone spending money on hygiene products.
For this distribution, made possible by donations from the Stanwood Camano Island Chapter Group, we chose to give the kits out to women of the Jabulani community. Many of these women are also part of income-generating groups that have been established in Jabulani. Having adequate menstruation supplies will make such a difference in their lives, ensuring that they can be more productive during the day.
Furthermore, in future, when their children receive kits at school, mothers will be able to provide more assistance for their daughters having experience with the Days for Girls kits themselves, and hopefully moving away from some of the stigma around menstruation.
With the rain forcing us to move from under a tree to under a shelter, one of our representatives chatted to the ladies about how to use the kits.
Speaking in vernacular and making plenty of jokes, the women were put to ease on what is usually a tense and rarely-spoken about topic. The importance of hygiene and cleanliness was also emphasized. Handing a comprehensively-packed beautiful Days for Girls bag to each lady, we also added in two pairs of adult underwear to further help equip those who received packs.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks once again to the Stanwood Camano Island Chapter for their continued support and the positive difference they are making in the lives of so many.
See firsthand the difference Grand Circle Foundation is making with the help of Children of the Wilderness in Zimbabwe when you join O.A.T. for Ultimate Africa: Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe Safari.