It’s “sew” exciting to be doing another project with Days for Girls! If you follow me on facebook and instagram or follow the Pittsburgh Chapter of Days for Girls, you may have noticed that Constance and I have collected sewn shields from our at home sewists and helped the Pittsburgh North team (Lisa and Karen) purchase, set up, and learn to use the industrial snap machines. We are getting our components in order before we receive other components from other teams and chapters. We anticipate that many sewists have been sewing from home and not able to get their snaps done either. We are happy to received shields without snaps.
If you are not with a Days for Girls team or chapter and would like to help us in Pittsburgh, you can make a monetary donation to The Pittsburgh Chapter or to Days for Girls International or purchase needed materials from amazon wish list or a JoAnn Fabric Gift Card, and arrange for a safe drop off. Wish list items can be shipped directly to Third Church. We especially need girls underwear (small and medium) which you can find on our amazon wish list. We have enough packing tape to get started but we will need more of that soon too. And, this is not directly related to this project, but we have some clear bins on our wish list too and these are really helpful for keeping us organized.
For Days for Girls teams and chapters who have sent us components before, thank you! and we look forward to working with you again. After the Lebanon Emergency Project, we had leftover sheilds and liners that we plan to use for this project. Constance and I have looked over our inventory and we see that our biggest need to make complete kits is transport bags, so if you can send extra of those and fewer shields that would help us to even out what was already sent. The Lebanon Emergency Response project allowed us to use zip lock bags, so when we ran out a quick trip to the store kept us packing kits. We will not be able to do that this time. Transport bags are a must.
Days for Girls International could also use some extra support for this project. The following is the information directly from DFG about the Chad Humanitarian Response Project, including a link to help get the kits shipped to Chad and to the menstruators who need them.
Chad Humanitarian Response Project
In partnership with Watoto Read and the Jesuit Refugee Service, DfG Chapters and Teams have the opportunity to step up to meet the urgent need of 21,000 refugees, IDPs and Returnees in Chad.
We are pleased to announce the Chad Humanitarian Response Project!
Chad is situated at the confluence of simultaneous and overlapping conflicts. This has resulted in a large number of refugees, Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and Chad returnees. This exacerbates ongoing internal development challenges, chronic poverty, the impact of climate change and a tense socio-economic situation. This was further compounded by COVID-19.
Despite this challenging context and limited resources, the Government of Chad continues to have a positive and welcoming attitude towards refugees. For more than a decade, it has hosted Sudanese refugees in the east, Central African refugees in the south and opened doors to more than 15,000 Nigerian refugees from Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad region. In addition are the approximately 115,000 Chad returnees who returned to Chad due to conflict in the region and face significant challenges around lack of documentation and statelessness.
At present, Chad hosts over 470,000 refugees from Sudan, the Central African Republic and Nigeria, as well as 330,000 IDPs, mostly around the Lake Chad region.
Started in 2016, Watoto Read is an organisation co-founded and run by Claudine Leary. Claudine was born in Rwanda. A refugee herself, she was lucky enough to get the opportunity to move to Zimbabwe to study and then the US where she now lives. Based on her own personal experiences, she started Watoto Read as a way to give back and increase refugee girls’ opportunities. She shared with us “I can’t tell you how much of a difference a DfG Kit would have made in my life as a young refugee girl”. Watoto Read’s implementing partner in 13 refugee camps in eastern Chad is the Jesuit Refugee Service who have been working there since 2006.
In 2019, Watoto Read started a DfG Team in Ohio: Galena OH Team. They did a small pilot project of about 200 Kits to Chad with very positive feedback. They then approached DfGI to share the great need in the camps and to ask if DfGI could work with them to meet this need!
How can you get involved?
Donate funds for underwear, resources, and shipping costs.
While the vast majority of our donations are tangible and able to be placed right in girls’ hands, there are other costs that move those donations to the right place. They benefit the girls and support DfG’s mission. For this project, these donations will support the operation costs of getting Kits to Chad. They will be used for educational materials, underwear, pallets, boxes, and shipping costs.