Hey family and friends.
I've been busy with tedious work applying for a grant for another GLOW camp. This will probably be my last one in my service but I think it could be great! It will be an all boys camp that focuses on gender based violence. The worst part of GLOW camps is trying to fund them. This time around I took the lead and learned that applying for grants is exhausting. I am applying to get help from the United States President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. If all goes well, I might just get us about $6-7000 in funds! Please cross your fingers as I have been stressed for the past week trying to convince them of why I should get the money and constantly reviewing my budget to make sure it fits the criteria. What a headache...
In other news, as a gift to myself after submitting the grant, I will be going to Mozambique! Mozambique is in eastern Africa and has some very beautiful beaches. It is becoming more popular nowadays and I hope to see what this little gem has to offer before it becomes the next top tourist destination! This may be one of my last trips in Africa so I am sad but also excited. I wished so much to travel to lots more African countries but I only have so many leave days. Oh well, I don't regret anything!
Today I read this article that really resonated with me titled, "Date A Girl Who Travels." I don't know why but I really love it and think it is worthy of everyone's time. I can relate to so much of it and love that the author pinpoints exact things that I have experienced and felt. Click here to read it. I think you should.
Hope to update again soon!
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Many girls in Africa are truant in school and miss out on activities because of menstruation. Many of them are scared, not having been educated about puberty and what is happening with their bodies as they grow and change. Some of my students come to me and are scared, thinking they are sick and/or dying! Girls use leaves, newspaper, toilet paper...anything they can find to substitute for sanitary napkins. This is unhygienic and could cause more problems to their health.
Having a period is not something that is discussed in many cultures. This is especially true in my village. I find myself talking about puberty, sexuality, and wellness in many of the GLOW Canps I've participated in, in classes, and in my PACT Club and the questions I am asked are unbelievable. Girls have false beliefs and/or have no knowledge at all about these topics. Menstrual health is so important and I make sure to stress good hygiene in my lessons.
Days For Girls is an organization that helps girls all around the world to get an education and stop missing out on days because of having a period. They empower girls worldwide with healthy and safe alternatives for sustainable menstrual management. They empower days of education, health, safety, and dignity by distributing feminine hygiene kits to those in need.
When a fellow volunteer introduced me to this organization I thought it would be great for the girls at my school. I was able to get my kits and bring them to my village (what a process this was to lug them back to my house) to demonstrate to students and their parents how to use the items inside and how important it is to have good hygiene. I took advantage of our PTA meeting and sent letters home with students inviting their parents to come and learn about these kits and how they are to be used. The parents seemed grateful and the students can now come to school without worry that they do not have protection.
What a great organization! If you want to learn more about Days For Girls, you can do so at daysforgirls.org. Thanks again to all the volunteers in America who take their time making these wonderful, cute kits!