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Kinkora student holds event to help provide girls with reusable hygiene products

Rachel Adams stands next to the Days for Girls poster she made promoting her community event at the Borden-Carleton Public Library. Participants came together on May 13 to cut fabric that will be used to make sustainable feminine hygiene products that will be sent to Kenya.
Rachel Adams stands next to the Days for Girls poster she made promoting her community event at the Borden-Carleton Public Library. Participants came together on May 13 to cut fabric that will be used to make sustainable feminine hygiene products that will be sent to Kenya.

KINKORA, P.E.I. - Rachel Adams is motivated to help others.

The Grade 12 student from Kinkora Regional High School wants to become an optometrist and later provide care to those in developing countries.

“When I learned I had to put together an active citizens project for my global issues class, I knew I wanted to raise awareness about health-care issues in developing countries,” explained Adams.

The project required Adams go out into the community, providing an event to get people involved and give them the opportunity to learn of various initiatives.

After researching organizations, Adams came across Days for Girls.

“It’s an organization that works to provide girls with sustainable hygiene products. It has three key ideas: health, education and dignity.

“Health is providing them with the products they need and how to take care of their hygiene. Education aims to make it possible for young girls to go to school and have access to the products and services. And dignity is providing them with the opportunity to not be embarrassed or ridiculed.”

Luckily, during her research, Adams found a Days for Girls group that operates on P.E.I.

“They’ve been a big help. When I met with them, they showed me what goes in the kits that they will then them take to Mikinduri, Kenya.”

What’s cool is that local women are the ones putting together the products that go in the kits with local sewing parties, she said.

“So for my project I decided to throw a gathering where people from the community can come together and cut up the fabric that will go into making the period underwear that are absorbent and reusable with each wash.”

Adams’ event was held on May 13 at the library in Borden-Carleton.

Another part of the project was doing a presentation to the Grade 8 students at the local elementary school.

“It was better than I thought. I was expecting some of the students to feel awkward or embarrassed talking about periods, but some came up to me afterward and said it was interesting and they might get involved in the initiative.”

Looking back, Adams feels like she’s taken the availability of feminine hygiene products for granted.

“It’s something that’s available in Canada. We think of it as a nuisance that happens every month, and if we need something for it we can get it. But it’s not like that in other places around the world. There is a really big stigma around it, and it can do a lot of harm.

“It’s hard to picture or imagine not being able to talk about it and get the proper care or products to maintain hygiene.”

For more information on Adams’ initiative, contact her at [email protected].

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