Toowoomba Women Help Provide Dignity & Better Quality Of Life For 10,000 Girls In Nepal

A group of Toowoomba sewers has changed the lives of 10,000 girls and women in Nepal through their creation and distribution of washable menstruation kits.

Days for Girls Toowoomba team leader Roslyn Amiss said their group was preparing to send their next shipment to Nepal including their 10,000th kit. 

Mrs Amiss was involved in establishing the Toowoomba group in 2014 after she discovered during a holiday to Nepal that girls miss out on five days a school each month during their periods.

“That is a lot of missed school days over the course of a year which puts girls behind, they eventually drop out of school and risk becoming child brides,” Mrs Amiss said. 

Member for Toowoomba South David Janetzki MP praised the dedicated group of women whose monthly sewing meets were making a real difference to the lives of others.

“Roslyn and her fellow Days for Girls volunteers are using their skills to give disadvantaged girls across the globe education, safety and dignity,” Mr Janetzki said.

Mr Janetzki said the Days for Girls kits contain washable pads made from brightly coloured and patterned fabric which unfold to look like a washer. This allows young women to wash and dry them outside in the sun without causing embarrassment.

Mrs Amiss said each girl who received a kit also received an education with them.

“I like to work with local health clinics in Nepal for distribution to try and get the girls familiar with the nurses,” she said.

“Days for Girls also offers sewing training for women in Nepal so they can eventually produce their own kits and support the hygiene needs in their community. 

A very old tradition is currently still practiced in rural Nepal where menstruating girls and women are banished from the family home each month.

Each month girls are forced to sleep on the faeces-covered dirt floor of a grass-roofed shed where cows or goats are kept.

Dozens of women and girls have died in recent years from following this tradition. Many have been raped by intruders or died from exposure to the elements. 

While activists and government efforts continue to end the practice, Days for Girls is focusing on the outcomes they can change which is keeping girls in school for longer to improve their futures.