Celebrating International Development Week 2019 – Wednesday

To celebrate International Development Week 2019, Farmers Helping Farmers is celebrating the people who help make our projects in Kenya possible.

Members of the Empower Sewing Group in Guelph, Ontario have created more than 1,000 Days for Girls kits.

Days for Girls Kits help girls stay in school

Since 2017, Farmers Helping Farmers has teamed up with the Empower Sewing Group in Guelph, Ontario to produce Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits.

The group celebrated completion of its 1,000th kit before Christmas.

Jean Hume of the Empower Sewing Group holds the 1,000th kit.

The kits are distributed to FHF twinned schools to girls who may otherwise stay away from school when they have their periods.

These kits give days to girls – valuable days in school – that will help them pursue their future.


Jean Hume of the Empower Sewing Group recently sent us an update from Guelph:

There are 21 women actively involved in the group and over 40 who wish to be on the "Friends" list. We have lost a few members due to advancing inability to work and, sadly, even to death. We do have our Snowbirds and golfers so our numbers bounce up and down seasonally.

The 1,000th kit was part of our most recent order from Farmers Helping Farmers. I have 50 more kits here, to complete the most recent order of 200, waiting for pickup by one of Jamie Whalen's drivers. (Jean’s son-in-law Jamie Whalen trucks horses from Ontario to the Island.) We make arrangements with his truckers to get the kits to P.E.I. Unfortunately, the weather conditions have not been favourable for transporting horses.

Recently we were challenged by Kenya's ban on plastics. We were sending the contents of the kits in ziplock bags that could be used to transport their soiled liners and to rinse them out. We are now making smaller, more discreet "transport bags" lining them with a waterproof fabric, which adds to the cost of the kits.

Another pouch design has just been implemented using just coloured waterproof fabric, cutting the cost and preparation time in half. We are indeed pleased with this new design and hope that the girls receiving these in the future will be more comfortable using them.

We are being informed by Days for Girls that more and more groups in developing countries are now making their own kits which is our ultimate goal.

Norma Fear, 92, holds the 1,000th Days for Girls kit that the group has produced.

We hope to receive more requests from FHF as we like feeling that we have a special contact with your group and that we are also helping the school girls to live with dignity.

Thanks to Jean Hume and co-convenor Anne Parsons for the update!

On behalf of all of our partners in Kenya, asante to the Empower Sewing Group and all of their helpers for all of their work providing these very important kits to girls at our twinned schools in Kenya.

Janice Whalen, right, accepts a 2017 Farmers Helping Farmers award on behalf of her mother, Jean Hume, and the members of the Empower Sewing Group.




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