“I Will be the One Using Leaves”
This is the story of Hawa, as told by Deb Bowen. Deb works with exchange students who are here in the States for one school year through federal scholarships.
“Hawa is from Liberia. She is a sweet, young lady who lived with a rural family in Aledo, IL, but was a bit distant. She loved contemporary Christian music and she, along with my girl from Ethiopia, danced to it playing loudly in my living room several times that year. They were a joy when they were together.
When Hawa learned that I was beginning to ask people to help make feminine hygiene kits, she came to me privately saying "if I don't take a kit back with me, I will be the one using leaves when I have my period and may have to drop out of school." She was just days away from her flight back home. It was heartbreaking for me to look into her desperate eyes and know how hard her life has been.
Of course, I wanted to give her a kit, but I had none to give. Inspired by her need, I drove several hours to a friend who had kits. I brought it to the airport the morning of Hawa's flight, but I was delayed due to helping another exchange student.
Hawa was in line to go through security and she thought I wasn't going to make it in time to give her the kit. When she saw me she began to teared up. She hugged me and kept saying "thank you, thank you". It was one of the most powerful moments of my working with exchange students.”
Since the writing of this account, Deb contacted Dignity4Girls (D4G). When the leadership of D4G heard about Hawa, what the feminine hygiene kit meant to her, and her current desire to help the girls in her village receive feminine hygiene kits, we knew we could help. As only God could arrange, Dignity4Girls was already working on the arrangements to transport over 1,000 kits to Liberia.
We are pleased to share that 100 of those feminine hygiene kits made their way to Hawa’s village! Girls who were held captive by their periods, falling behind in school and possibly even dropping out, are now free to leave their homes with confidence and continue their education.