Simsbury Days for Girls: Distribution in Migori, Kenya
SUM’s DFG group facilitated a very big event with Pastor Ken Mwita of Kenya. Hundreds of girls received menstrual kits, and girls and boys received health education that addressed cultural taboos, good health practices, and appreciation of each other’s roles as a sacred part of God’s plan.
Kenyan United Methodist Superintendent Rev. Kennedy Mwita, who lives in the Nyanza region, learned about DFG from Anna Baker, who is from Simsbury United Methodist and in our Days for Girls group. Pastor Ken was speaking at Yale on his way to the UMC global meeting in St. Louis in late February. Anna told him all about DFG and he recognized this as the answer to his concern for girls missing school, especially the poor girls and women he serves. He was amazed that there was a sustainable solution, rather than paper products (each kit lasts a girl three years).
Anna and her grandmother, Jan Baker, began working out the details for quickly getting kits to the girls as Pastor Ken requested 2,000 kits “to start”! Plans were made for a distribution of 545 kits to girls at a school in the Moheto area of Kenya during Easter vacation, with less than two months to make it happen. The kits are identical to the ones we make here at SUM at our Days for Girls workshops, but it would have been impossible to get so many to Kenya without a great deal of expense. Instead we used resources that Days for Girls International now has in Africa. DFG sent native educators, prepared by DFG, to teach good hygiene practices to the girls and boys in Pastor Ken’s village. Kits were purchased from small “enterprises” that DFG already has begun in cities and villages in Kenya and around the world. (SUM and Rotary Club have been supporting a Days for Girls enterprise in Uganda with Jolly Lux and Guiding Light Orphans, Avon, CT.) Women in DFG enterprises serve their community and support themselves by making and selling kits, school uniforms, and other things. These people are key in making the Days for Girls kits a long-term solution in communities where people need sustainable, reusable products.
The combination of Pastor Ken (and his interests and skills) and SUM made this happen. Pastor Ken, who is a District Superintendent over many churches, has proved to be an amazing partner for DFG Simsbury and SUM. I hope we can all meet him someday. Anna, Jan, and Pastor Ken know that the love of God made all this possible. Our church’s ongoing commitment to reaching girls and making things happen improves many lives quickly. Plans continue to get these kits/education to all the girls in the area, and to make the dreams of another enterprise a reality, helping the poor and marginalized improve their lives and the lives of others.
Please join us to make decisions on how we should best realize these plans and dreams. We will be making things happen – and quickly – because we can, because we are SUM/LOVE. Everyone is welcome and needed at these two thinking, planning, and organizational meetings. Come help turn dreams and ideas into realities and help us spend our money wisely to achieve the most we can! We also need to keep sewing, serging, and ripping to make more kits at our monthly workshops. I hope to see many of you at one or more of the meetings.
SPECIAL MEETINGS FOR DFG PLANNING
June 5 and June 26 @ 7:00 p.m. in the Annex
DFG SEWING WORKSHOPS
June 14, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., and June 15, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
~ Jan Baker