BY EMMA NAILLE (‘18)
A women empowerment club inspired by a global scholars project has been started by seniors Rachel Lilly and Kenzie Chesrown to help girls in underdeveloped countries and to empower women within the community.
“The club was started pretty much as a continuation of my global scholars project and we’re fundraising for the organization Days for Girls, which sends sustainable hygiene products to girls in underdeveloped countries so they can attend school on a regular basis and get an education,” Lilly said. “Our club is also empowering girls within our area as well.”
According to the Days for Girls website, the organization is “committed to supporting a girl throughout her entire lifecycle, from providing her with a DfG Kit, to teaching her health education, to offering training for her when she grows older, so that she can produce DfG Kits and support hygiene needs in her community.”
The organization was started by Celeste Morgan, founder and CEO, when she found out girls in an orphanage in Nairobi were “sitting on cardboard for several days each month, often going without food unless someone would bring it to them.”
These girls did not have access to feminine hygiene products because of the overflow of children in the orphanage, due to politically motivated violence in their country, poverty and because they had no place to dispose of the products.
A DfG Kit includes two waterproof shields, eight absorbent liners, a bar of soap, one washcloth, two pairs of panties, two ziploc bags and a bag to hold everything.
Chesrown and Lilly are co-Presidents of the club, senior A.J. Peterson is treasurer and sophomore Nadia Ferbrache is secretary. English teacher Amy Tolbert is the adviser for the club.
“Along with Kenzie, I’m the president and founder,” Lilly said. “I put together presentations for our meetings and I’m in contact with Days for Girls, the organization that we fund raise for, and I set up events and fundraisers for the club.”
Ferbrache at first wanted to start a feminist club but the clubs were too similar, so she joined the women empowerment club.
“That’s why we’re doing more community based stuff, because that’s what she wanted to do,” Lilly said.
Senior member of the club Cassidy Rader joined because she thought it was a “cute” and “important” idea.
She is looking forward to all of the activities the club does, like “helping girls in underdeveloped areas.”
“Everybody should be empowered. I think that in society today sometimes they are not always empowered so I think it’s important especially in high school for girls to feel empowered,” Rader said.
Senior Taylor Ryan joined the club because empowering women “as early as high school can help to create change for years to come.”
Ryan enjoys the meetings, specifically the “Woman of the Week” segment.
“My favorite part about the meetings is how they highlight a ‘Woman of the Week,’” Ryan said. “They pick a good role model for feminists and explain all that they have done for the cause.”
She is also looking forward to fundraising for Days for Girls, specifically with yoga.
“We want to do ‘Glow for the Flow’ yoga as one of the fundraisers.”
This fundraiser is one of several ideas offered on the Days for Girls website. The site describes this fundraiser as yoga classes with black lights and glow paint, where all of the proceeds went to Days for Girls.
Ryan believes empowering women is incredibly important.
“I think it’s important to empower women so that they know they can do anything they put their mind to, regardless of if someone tells them they can’t.”