Article submitted by Ula Sheather - "Days for Girls" District Champion
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) declares that we are now witnessing the highest levels of people displacement on record, with a reported 68.5 million forcibly displaced worldwide. Of those, 25.4 million are refugees and 40 million are internally displaced people.
Days for Girls (DfG) has had in outpouring of interest from volunteers looking for ways to help in a coordinated and impactful manner. As a result, the goal was set to reach 33,000 refugee women and girls with DfG menstrual hygiene kits and education.  There are four locations in Lebanon, Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan. Days for Girls teams and chapters in Gippsland have contributed to reaching this goal.
Lebanese DfG woman, Khayrich, says: “Most refugees can't afford pads because they need to spend what little money they have on food and medicine. They use old white cloths or old t-shirts instead, but the problem is they are too shy to wash these and hang them out to dry.  This isn’t safe for their health. DfG kits provide a wonderful alternative to this, as they are multi-coloured, don’t look like pads and they are safe to use. The accompanying Women’s’ Health Education Program is just as important, because many of the targeted women lack the most basic knowledge. It makes them more relaxed and confident and it breaks down stigma and taboos. It has a lasting impact because they can pass the information on to their daughters, who will then pass it down to their own daughters”
DfG volunteers in Bairnsdale are committed to the Refugee Project and have sent over 600 kits. The overwhelming news is that at last count, the pledged number of kits worldwide is now 45.000. Australia is sending 11,000 kits.
Recently World Vision has formed an alliance with DfG and will use their experience, expertise and logistics to help get these kits distributed to the four countries.
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The education program for DfG’s is more powerful if it includes the men. Krishna and Meen are friends of Ula Sheather and organise DfG distributions in Nepal.
The next distribution is in November this year.