Pictured: Girl Scout Troop 10715 members Gabby Larmond, Mia Carson, Nadia McGhee and Isabella Pollydore.
While there are many cultural differences George Dietz has noticed in the course of his trips to the Terranova School in Mazabuka, Zambia, one recent observation in particular stood out.
“There were no feminine products for sale anywhere near the school,” Dietz, a Middle School science teacher, said. “I asked about it and was told there are none. Plus, very few of the kids have money or access to hygiene products. They barely can feed themselves, so the pads are a luxury.”
Without feminine products, Zambian girls would remain home while on their periods, missing days at school and falling behind in their education. As Dietz looked into the issue, he came across the organization Days for Girls, which connects communities with volunteers and partners to provide reusable pads to girls in need. Dietz immediately thought of Girl Scout Troop 10715, which is composed of Woodward Upper School students.
The Troop has long been active in service and volunteering efforts both on campus and beyond.
Mia Carson, a Woodward junior and member of the Troop, said the plight of the girls in Zambia immediately resonated with them, even though none of the Girl Scouts had traveled to Terranova. Carson was in Dietz’s science class, though, and had heard him tell stories about the school.
“We were all very excited and eager to make these reusable pads for the girls,” Carson said. “Missing a week or two of school per month is missing a lot of school and information. It means so much that we get to support other girls who are living on the other side of the world and help them have their full school experience.”
The Troop spent months making dozens of reusable pads. Dietz will deliver them to Terranova over the summer, and some of the girls are planning a school trip to Terranova next year.
“In Zambia, women and education gives women options,” Dietz said. “In talking with the Girl Scouts, they embraced the project as it empowers young women.”