Nestled away in a leafy corner of Castle Hill, Cheryl-Landon Jones tackles the global crisis of period poverty as a team leader for Days for Girls International.
According to the World Bank, up to 20% of girls miss school when confronted with period poverty, which refers to an unavailability of menstrual products.
Days for Girls International is dedicated to ending period poverty globally. The organisation makes menstrual hygiene products which are then distributed to girls and women in developing countries, reaching over three million women.
Cheryl is one of these dedicated volunteers empowering women to continue working and studying even through their period.
She has been operating as Team Leader within the Castle Hill Branch since September 2016 and within that time has produced over 9,304 kits which have been sent to 25 different countries.
As an ongoing volunteer of five years with this organisation, I wanted to highlight Cheryl’s achievements and commitment with this fantastic cause by writing about a recent packing day at Castle Hill for these menstrual kits.
Each liner is hand-made by dedicated volunteers through a balance of compassion and craftsmanship. Over laughs and jovial conversation, each person was stationed in the packing line to assemble the various components, which will last up to three years with proper care.
What draws me to this organisation is the remarkable detail and effort that goes into each kit, offering women dignity through their menstrual cycle.
Every product is quality-checked by Cheryl before being packed inside a drawstring bag consisting of soap, cotton underwear, a wash cloth and information pamphlets directing their use.
Eventually, the finished kits are counted and sealed into boxes, ready to be sent globally to reach countries such as Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
During the morning tea break consisting of delicious baked goods, Cheryl opened up about her passion for leading the Castle Hill group; “As a retired high school teacher, education is very important to me. These kits and the education that goes with them allow girls to live their lives without bounds, embarrassment or shame.
“We are creating a more free and equitable world and who wouldn’t want to be part of that!” she told me.
Discovering this organisation in a small newspaper advertisement over five years ago, I felt called to empower the lives of women to continue their education and work.
“As a year 10 student, I wanted to give women the same level of opportunity that I had as I entered my final years of school. I am now proud to call Cheryl a friend, an inspiring volunteer and a strong leader in my local community.”
Whether you wield a needle, are inclined to donate or enjoy the occasional Bunnings BBQ you can find your local Days For Girls group on Facebook and get in contact at [email protected]
Days for Girls International is leading the de-stigmatization of periods around the world. Let’s have the uncomfortable conversation of periods to bridge the gap of gender inequality.