Days for Girls has reached more than one million women and girls in over 125 countries with reusable feminine hygiene kits and menstrual health education.

Red Deer sewing volunteers change lives a world away

In many developing countries, a basic item we often take for granted here in Canada is preventing girls and young women from venturing out in public and attending school for days at a time.

So when a group of Red Deer volunteers learned about the need for reusable feminine hygiene products that can help young women live their lives with dignity and more easily pursue the education that could lead them out of poverty, they put their sewing skills to work.

The Red Deer chapter of the international charitable organization Days for Girls, which sews washable, reusable feminine hygiene kits that are distributed to women in developing countries, gathers for sewing sessions every month or so, and more helping hands are always welcome!

Creating between 1,200 and 1,500 kits a year, “it’s something we can work on here, and it makes such a difference in the lives of these girls and women around the world,” says Shelley deBoon, who founded the local chapter five years ago with Darlene Grasdal.

“We make all the components and assemble all the kits, then when someone is travelling, they’re able to take kits with them to distribute.”

The Days for Girls story

While visiting Kenya in 2008, Celeste Mergens was helping at an orphanage outside Nairobi when she learned that girls were sitting on cardboard for several days each month during their periods, often going without food unless someone would bring it to them.

Girls for Days was born.

Recognizing that disposable pads were neither viable nor sustainable, the solution was a patented reusable pad system that lasts for up to 3 years. The first Days for Girls Kits were quite different from today’s design, and each of the 28 iterations that followed was informed by extensive feedback and designed to meet unique cultural and environmental conditions in communities throughout the world.

Crafted from 100 per cent cotton and flannel, with waterproof liners, bright colours and patterns offer culturally sensitive solutions that allow the girls to use, wash and dry the materials without embarrassment.

Key to the program’s success is education, so before distribution, volunteers also have a plan in place to educate the girls about how to use and look after the kits.

Today, Days for Girls has reached more than one million women and girls in 125+ countries with kits and menstrual health education, and in addition to volunteers like those right here in Red Deer, Days for Girls also cultivates social enterprises and micro-enterprises for women around the world.

“I travelled to the Dominican Republic and they were so excited to see the kits,” Shelley says. “It was just so rewarding to experience that.”

To join the Red Deer group at their next sewing session, email or check them out on Facebook!


Red Deer volunteers with Days for Girls sew the components of between 1,200 and 1,500 reusable feminine hygiene kits a year. The kits are distributed around the world to girls in need.

Days for Girls Kits feature a patented, reusable pad system that lasts for up to three years.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Firefighters to visit Oriole Park homes near industrial fire to answer questions

About 80 homes were evacuated on Wednesday because of nearby fire

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

EDMONTON — Jason Kenney, Alberta’s incoming premier, said he cordially talked pipelines… Continue reading

Shooting victims in Penticton, B.C., remembered before vigil at city park

PENTICTON, B.C. — Family and friends are remembering neighbours who were gunned… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Officer tells of finding body at trial for B.C. dad accused of killing daughters

VANCOUVER — A police officer choked up Tuesday as he recalled finding… Continue reading

Man faces murder charges in slayings of two men, two women in Penticton, B.C.

PENTICTON, B.C. — A former city employee described as a hard-working, civic-minded… Continue reading

Most Read