What if lack of feminine hygiene products kept you in your room for days and you couldn’t go to school? Local teen Girl Scouts in Oakton pondered this question about their peers in developing countries.

The scouts rallied by participating in a service project established by Days for Girls to create and assemble handmade sustainable menstruation kits that will benefit girls in developing countries.

Forty Girl Scouts and fourteen adult volunteers were in attendance at the event, planned by Fairfax-based Girl Scout Troop 56002.

The Girl Scout troop partnered with Days for Girls’ Kathy McIlvain. The teens learned about Days for Girls, an organization that increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls. According to their website and Facebook page, “Over 1 million girls have received menstrual care hygiene kits that change their lives. On average, when 10% more girls go to school, a country’s GDP increases by 3%. Empowered women build economies, communities, and families.”

Days for Girls gives girls back the days otherwise lost due to menstruation.

Girl Scout Troop 56002, comprised of girls attending both Oakton and Chantilly High Schools, included Lauren Connors, Caitlin Crump, Julia Gardiner, Ella Kranes, Katie Mahieu, Trisha Nittala, Libby Tully, and Rachael Gardiner, with advisors Wendy Gardiner and Lisa Tully.

“I like feeling like I could make a difference by helping girls get an education,” said fourteen-year-old Trisha Nittala of Fairfax. Since learning about this organization in early 2019, Trisha has been a regular participant in the Days for Girls’ monthly third Saturday service projects held at Vienna Presbyterian Church, from 1-4 pm.

Realizing that there are girls in developing countries who have to leave school permanently once they reach puberty because they can’t make up the schoolwork they’ve missed after their monthly absences was a surprise to many in attendance.

“Helping with this event was really impactful for me because I learned new information that helped me understand not everyone is as fortunate as I am. Being able to give back and help them made me feel like I was doing something very good,” said fourteen-year-old Caitlin Crump of Herndon.

ServiceSource in Oakton, which facilitates services and partnerships that support people with disabilities to build more inclusive communities, has an ongoing partnership with Days for Girls and generously donated the event space to Girl Scout Troop 56002 for this project.

Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. GSCNC provides services and support to over 86,000 girl and adult members, and operates service centers and shops in the Washington DC region.

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