On Jan. 31 from 6-7 p.m. SUU’s Days for Girls hosted a meeting for volunteers to create reusable feminine hygiene products to be sent to women in countries where sanitary pads are not easily accessible, forcing girls and women to miss school and work when they menstruate.
Days for Girls (DfG) was founded by Celeste Mergens when she learned that many girls around the world are forced to drop out of school due to the lack of available feminine hygiene products. Since its founding, DfG has grown to over 900 volunteer chapters and teams in 14 different countries. They have reached one million women and girls around the world that had a need for feminine hygiene products.
Items included in the kits assembled and distributed by DfG include a pad holder, six washable pieces of fabric for the pad, soap and rags.
SUU’s Days for Girls is a part of the Cedar City chapter, and was started by Cameron Robins, a senior biology major from Orem, originally heard about DfG from his brother-in-law and decided to start a chapter at SUU. Robins has gone to Nicaragua and Peru with DfG, and was a part of the first training they did for young men.
During the training they taught the men about what was happening to their bodies during puberty and what the women were also going through. They also discussed protecting women and the importance of safe sex and consent.
“It was very very cool to see these high school boys kind of go from an immature setting to growing up a little bit in that meeting alone,” Robins said. “I actually had the very cool opportunity of talking to one of the guys afterwards and he was very touched by what we were saying and wanted to change how he was living his life.”
Included amongst the volunteers in attendance were team members from SUU’s football team. Junior tight end Logan Parker said he learned about DfG through some teammates. Robins was in his biology class and personally invited Parker to come to the meeting to volunteer.
“I love helping a lot of people,” Parker said. “I’m grateful for all of the women I’ve had in my life, for the examples they’ve had (in my life), and to be able to give back to other women who don’t have the same opportunities as those that live in this country is good. It feels great.”
Photography by Haleigh Clemens