What does it really mean to “empower” a woman or girl? After several expeditions to Kenya, working with
women and families, we realized that empowerment to them means tools that help them get more done in
But first, we wanted to provide a way for our local communities to come together to serve locally. For the past year, we have been hosting local “Sew-a-Thons” where we invite people to join us for a few hours to sew things like underwear, t-shirt dresses, t-shirt bags, and HopeSaCs. We then take these items to Kenya on our expeditions, along with hygiene items such as soap, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, to create kits that we can give to girls in rescue centers, and women in families that we work with. We also include a Days for Girls reusable feminine hygiene kit to help keep girls in school without worrying about menstruation.
We partnered with entrepreneurs like Abbey Junker, who loves to share Pampered Chef kitchen tools as part of our “Kitchen Kits” fundraiser. We donated 20 Kitchen Kits to families in Kenya – sharp knives, cutting boards, spatulas, spoons, vegetable peelers, etc.
Cindy Miller, who created the HopeSaC (Stands for Hope, Service and Charity) showed us what an incredible time-saver having a fabric thermal cooker would be for women, as well as a way to reduce the amount of fuel needed to cook for a family.
We also know that empowering a woman or girl means teaching her skills that can be used for economic development and self-reliance, teaching her hygiene for a healthier life, and above all, it means connection and love. When you go to Kenya with us, we encourage you to find “the one” person that you are there to meet. Two weeks in Kenya is two years worth of personal development mentoring in the U.S. It will change a life. Yours.
Reusable Feminine Hygiene Kits – Days for Girls
Christine Sakali is our Kenyan Director for our Women’s Initiatives Program. Along with Marissa Waldrop, her U.S. counterpart, the coordinate on all of our different sewing projects. We fundraise in the U.S. for the reusable feminine hygiene kits provided by Christine’s Days for Girls Enterprise in Kenya, so that we can keep the economy with her team of 12.
We fundraise through $5 Friday Fundraisers on Facebook, Events, and Expeditions for 1000 kits each year. On every expedition, we host a workshop for women and girls, and donate the kits to them. The kits can provide up to 3 years of support for a girl on her period, and she is able to stay in school during menstruation.
At our sew-a-thons, we recycle used t-shirts into underwear for rescue centers, t-shirt bags for women to sell in Kenya, and t-shirt dresses for girls. We also host cut-a-thons, where we cut out the underwear patterns, and take them to Kenya for the sewing teams there to put together and distribute.
Our goal with these projects is skills development. As we build training centers in communities, we have sewing machines donated, and the women in the communities are then able to begin learning how to sew. Our teams bring fabric that is donated to these sewing centers.
In June 2017, we started bringing Kitchen Kits for the families we were working with. The kits were provided by Abbey Junker and her Pampered Chef team, and included things like cutting boards, apple slicers, sharp knives, spatulas, spoons, and vegetable peelers.
Now, we provide these items on a regular basis, because we believe that women are truly empowered when they have tools that can help them in their daily work. Their reaction to receiving these items is priceless, and it makes a difference in how fast they are able to cook meals for their families.
HopeSacS – Retained Heat Cookers
We met Cindy Miller in May 2018 when she joined us at a sew-a-thon, and showed us her HopeSaCs. It stands for Hope, Service and Charity. These bags are sewn by volunteers, and we take the kits with us to Kenya and stuff them. When used correctly, they can reduce the need for fuel, help save women’s lungs with less smoke inhalation, and can be used to cook meals overnight so that children can eat before school.
We now fundraise and donate HopeSaCs to the families we work with, and the women are amazed when they see that they can cook without being over a fire!
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