Two students raise awareness about the struggle girls face around the world
By Michelle Shavnya
Every woman needs feminine hygiene products, but not every woman has access to them.
This is why sophomores Sana Gupta and Julia Walker are organizing a Coin War fundraiser to donate money to Days for Girls, an organization that provides girls in need with these products.
“Days for Girls is providing reusable feminine hygiene kits to women and girls around the world. We are in over 110 countries, and in nine years we have reached nearly one million women and girls,” said Jean Scialabba, a member of the organization’s Connecticut chapter.
In 2008, CEO of Days for Girls, Celeste Mergens, founded the organization. She was in Kenya helping at an orphanage when a sudden realization dawned on her: How were girls dealing with menstruation there? After learning they did nothing, Celeste knew she had to help.
What started out as one woman’s idea is now an international organization that has over 1,000 individual chapters working to achieve a common goal: to provide every female with feminine hygiene products by 2024.
“Thinking about all the girls around the world, just like us, who can’t go to school because of the normal way their bodies work, it’s something that I wanted to help with,” said Gupta.
Students and teachers at ELHS realize the importance of the fundraiser.
“This fundraiser shows that ELHS cares about people in other countries in a unique way. I hope this fundraiser helps our community realize the different kinds of trouble other people around the world go through,” said sophomore Charis Qi.
“As a teacher, I see the effects that missing school, even for one day, have on student progress. Regularly missing several days of school puts girls at risk of falling behind or dropping out of school. This seems like a simple way to keep girls around the world in school,” said math teacher Patricia Ferryman, who helped Gupta and Walker organize the fundraiser.
To encourage students to donate, the fundraiser will be competitive.
Each student can put coins into a jar respective to their grade. However, they can also put dollar bills in another grade’s jar, which will decrease the total sum of money in that jar by $1. This concept originated last year, when Gupta and sophomore Becca Paggioli held a fundraiser for Friday’s Rescue Foundation, an animal adoption organization.
The grade with the most money at the end of the week wins. All proceeds will go to Days for Girls.
While the fundraiser will only last from Feb. 5 to Feb. 9, the impact will not end there. Gupta and Walker hope it inspires students to donate on their own, and even to other charities.
“Just get involved and don’t be afraid to step up if you’re passionate about something,” Walker said.