Go With The Flow
 
Around the world girls drop out of school for a number of reasons. In many cases these reasons are directly related to the physical changes girls face with the onset of adolescence. A lack of clean water, privacy and good sanitation can be closely linked to the rate girls leave school at the onset of menstruation.
 
In developing countries, girls are often responsible for gathering water and helping their mothers with household chores. This means that they can spend up to 6 hours per day collecting water. Often this means that they drop out of school because they can’t get these chores done and attend classes. In some cases, when they are able to complete their chores and still get to school, they are tired and focusing on schoolwork is a big challenge that is compounded by the inconvenience and stigma of menstruation.
How It All Began
      Sharon and president Tom introduce the project          Support from the Interact club at Cornwall Collegiate
 
Like so many undertakings that have a far reaching impact, Go with the Flow started small, the initiative of one Rotarian, Sharon Miller, who saw the need to assist girls to avoid having their education end with a period.  Her enthusiasm quickly led to engaging her fellow Rotarians and friends to support her mission.
 
Spreading information about the Go with the Flow project has been an interesting time! It has taken Rotarian Sharon Miller and her colleagues to Rotary Clubs and community groups in District 7040 and beyond. Sharing information has been done both in Canada and abroad, each with a different focus depending upon the audience. Locally it has been a matter of building awareness and developing the skills required to manufacture feminine hygiene kits and in developing communities it has been empowering girls to continue their education. This entire process of sharing the kits and teaching others how to manufacture and care for them has been part of an international experience of women helping to empower women.
 
Financial support for materials has come from many different women, community groups, Interact clubs and Rotary Clubs all of whom share the desire to help girls stay in school. This strongly supports Rotary's area of focus.... Basic Education and Literacy.
 
To date (June 2019) hygiene kits have been distributed in Ghana in conjunction with a site visit to Global Grant #1638228; in India in conjunction with an End Polio Now mission and in Sri Lanka when Rotarians participated in a visit supporting a local Cornwall NGO that undertakes projects there. Currently, work has begun to support two areas this fall. The Madagascar School project led by Kathy Lucking  will receive 75 feminine hygiene kits.  The support begun in 2018 to support the work of the midwife and community in Ghana will be continued when the Canadian team visits their Global Grant project in autumn 2019.
 
In 2019-20, this project received a District Simplified Grant which enabled several additional initiatives including visits to other Rotary clubs and schools to share the technique of making these reusable sanitary supplies and sharing the importance of education for girls and women everywhere.
 
Some of the People Involved
 
Support comes from far and wide  - Individual Rotarians and Rotary Clubs, merchants and friends of Rotary.
 
 
We enjoyed sharing techniques with others - Rotarians, Interact members and high school groups.
 
 
 
The sewing sessions are opportunities for building wonderful friendships
 
 
Some of the beneficiaries.
 
 
A Photo Album