Local sewing project benefits Ugandan women

About 30 women came together at the Hood River LDS church this summer to create Days for Girls kits. From left to right: Kate Dougherty, Linda Colton, Linda Chamberlain, Andrea Davis and Emily Manning.

Submitted photo
About 30 women came together at the Hood River LDS church this summer to create Days for Girls kits. From left to right: Kate Dougherty, Linda Colton, Linda Chamberlain, Andrea Davis and Emily Manning.



When Linda Chamberlain goes to Uganda Oct. 17 for her annual trip in support of The Fistula Project, she’ll be taking a piece of Hood River with her.

Make that several pieces.

Approximately 30 women met over two days, Aug. 10-11, at the Hood River Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to prepare “Days for Girls” kits for Chamberlain to take on her journey.

The kits, which contain reusable menstrual pads and liners, are given to young girls who have undergone fistula repair surgery so they will be able to attend classes “rather than missing class due to the lack of adequate menstrual products,” said Chamberlain. Each pad and liner must be made to Days for Girls specifications (daysforgirls.org).

Chamberlain has purchased kits or relied on donations in the past, but wondered if local women would help make the kits themselves this year.

A chat at Chamberlain’s Wilinda Blueberry Patch on Frankton Road this summer ended in more than just a pail of berries for LDS church member Andrea Davis.

When Chamberlain mentioned the project, Davis said that women of the church had helped make the kits before and were always looking for ways to serve.

“That one conversation in the middle of Linda’s blueberry patch led to a two-day community service project,” said Davis.

Women from the church and community coordinated efforts to cut and sew the reusable pads and liners, said Davis.

“Each kit contains several pads and eight liners, which required a lot of sewing and serging,” she said. “The liners and pads are carefully cut and sewn according to guidelines established for Days for Girls.”

Each kit also contained two pairs of underwear, a washcloth and a bar of soap.

“Linda’s cargo box was packed full with the 20 kits and was ready to go the day the service project ended,” said Davis. “She was so excited to have participated in the process and walk away with the kits completely ready to go.”

“The absolute joy of this particular project is this: Emily Manning, who directed a lot of the pad project, is going to Uganda with us in October,” said Chamberlain. “She will be distributing something she actually helped make to the young women.”

Days for Girls, founded in 2008, provides washable, discreet and long-term solutions for girls during their menstrual cycles.

“Around the world, girls and women resort to using rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers, and even cow dung to manage their menstruation,” says the Days for Girls website.

Pad designs have evolved since Days for Girls’ inception to “meet unique cultural and environmental conditions in communities throughout the world,” states the website.

“… The bright colors camouflage staining. The absorbent liners unfold to look like a washcloth, which allows women to wash and dry them outside in the sun without causing embarrassment. All of these design choices add up to a lasting, easy-to-care-for solution.”



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