Empowering Girls
 Glenwood Rotary is doing something about empowering girls and young women in third-world countries.
The local Rotary Club hosted a sew-a-thon last Tuesday that provides feminine hygiene kits to young girls in many poverty-stricken countries.
Why Feminine hygiene products or “Days for Girls” kits? 
Consider this question:  What if not having sanitary supplies meant days without school? Days of isolation? 
Girls in many poor countries use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find...but still miss up to 2 months of education and opportunity every year. It turns out this issue is a surprising but instrumental key to social change for women all over the world, according to Judy Johnson, of the Maple Grove Rotary Club, who spoke to Glenwood Rotarians last week.
By providing the Days for Girls kits, along with some education about the natural reproductive system, girls can continue to go to school and that education can improve their lives.
“Many of the girls drop out of school because they are not allowed in during their periods and so they get behind and drop out,” said Johnson, who is leading the effort to provide feminine hygiene kits.  “Once they drop out they are considered ready for marriage and child bearing and many become mothers at age 13 or 14,” she said.
She explained that helping them manage their natural reproductive cycle helps to break the cycle of early pregnancy and abject poverty. 
The sew-a-thon is a way Johnson found to create a number of the washable, reusable kits and then send them to countries where they are needed. 
She was hoping that the local sew-a-thon would attract enough volunteers to put together a 120 such kits.
Those who want to help can also do so by making a donation to the project through the Glenwood Rotary Club. 
“I’m very grateful for your support,” she told Glenwood Rotarians, “and helping me do something to help the girls of the world.”
Her kits have gone to many countries, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Haiti, India, Guatemala, Vietnam and Uganda and others.