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Article by Ellie Charwat, AAUW member and Chair of Friendship Committee
From the Fall 2019 Road Scholar Alumni Magazine.
Days for Girls workshops are an ongoing international activity of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW. Joined by volunteers from throughout the community, the monthly workshops produce feminine hygiene kits for girls living in developing countries, refugee camps, and shelters in the United States. Without the kits, which last for 3 - 5 years, the girls would miss 5 - 7 days of school each month. Some of the volunteers engage in sewing, but many other skills are utilized in the production and assembly process, as illustrated in these photos. Volunteers are welcomed without appointment or reservation. Sabashnee Govender
(Days for Girls International, active for the past 10 years in several countries including the United States, has produced and delivered 103,000 kits to girls worldwide. According to Michelle Obama's Global Girls Initiative, 98 million adolescent girls are not in school throughout the world -- and some of those may not be attending classes because of their menstrual cycle. Days for Girls offers us a way to help them complete their education.)
The Poughkeepsie Days for Girls Team -- including members of AAUW, the Poughkeepsie Meeting of Friends, First Dutchess Quilters, and The American Sewing Guild -- has created and distributed a total of 192 kits (186 international and 6 domestic) -- a whopping 111 kits in 2019! Our goal was 100; we have more than met the gold standard for Days for Girls International.
Here are some of the volunteers at our February 16, 2019, workshop:
The following scenes from the November 17, 2018, workshop illustrate the volunteers' efforts. On this day, we were joined by two Vassar College students who will be among the team that will deliver kits to girls studying in the school assisted by Vassar's Haiti Project. The isolated school and its nearby hospital, also part of the project, suffered significant damage during a recent earthquake.
Scenes from the Days for Girls workshop on October 20, 2018, when two dozen volunteers -- including 12 students from Marist College - worked for 3 hours completing the many tasks involved in kit production:
For further information about the worldwide Days for Girls program, go to www.daysforgirls.org.
First International Pot-Luck Picnic - July 27, 2019:
The day was hot, but the sun was glorious, and our first international pot luck picnic generated lots of new fellowship and great ideas.