Days for Girls began in 2008, when Founder and CEO, Celeste Mergens, was working with a family foundation in the outskirts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
In the wake of horrific post-election violence, thousands of children were left orphaned and alone. It was then that Celeste began helping an orphanage. She emailed the director of and asked what young girls and women did at the time of their menstrual cycle. When she found out they had “nothing” to help during that time, she thought about ways to help these girls so they could continue going to school and were not limited to staying at home.
A problem, however, was the issue of disposing of single-use pads. This inspired the long-lasting reusable pad followed by the Days for Girls kits.
The Days for Girls initiative has reached over one million girls internationally including Rural Australia. The organising team is striving to create a world where everyone has access to equal opportunity and health education.
Days for Girls create and provide kits that are equipped with the items a girl requires during her menstrual cycle such as underwear, soap, re-useable sanitary items (pads) a discrete carry bag and washing kit and most importantly sexual health education.
Days for Girls holds many fundraising events all over Australia including on the Central Coast where people are able to donate fabrics, materials and hygiene products such as miniature soaps.
The most recent Fundraiser was held on May 19 at the Avoca Surf club, where thousands of dollars were raised through raffles, bake sales and donations.
Kim Fitzpatrick is the team leader for the Avoca beach NSW team, where members meet frequently to design, pack and create thousands of kits for disadvantaged girls and women all over the world. “The work we do at Days for Girls is so important,” Kim says. “These young women are unable to live their lives during their menstrual cycle and are usually stuck at home when they should be at school learning and playing with their friends.”
Days for Girls does so much for young women in rural Australia and all around the world through creating something as simple as a menstrual kit.