Santa Fe College for Kids shirts traveled all the way to Kenya in December with a group from Alachua County. What started as a Girl Scout Mission Sisterhood project two-and-a-half years ago for local troop 733 developed into a trip to Africa to establish an international sewing and health enterprise for girls in Tharaka Nithi, Kenya.
Santa Fe College has been a partner in this project from the beginning. SF’s East Gainesville Instruction department loaned their eight sewing machines to troop 733 when they embarked on, “Mission Possible: Keep Girls in School. Period.”
When the teen Girl Scouts in troop 733 learned that girls their own age were unable to attend school in Africa due to a lack of feminine hygiene supplies, they were moved to take action. They eventually partnered with the American Sewing Guild and learned to make Days for Girls International hygiene kits which feature reusable, washable menstrual supplies. Santa Fe College has hosted several sew-a-thons in support of the project.
In July of 2014, the Girl Scouts met with the Governor of Tharaka Nithi, Kenya when he came to Florida to visit his sister. They gave him 200 completed kits. He was so grateful! He asked if the girls would be willing to come to his country to teach the girls there to make the kits. December’s trip was the fulfillment of a promise to do just that. The troop raised enough money to purchase sewing machines and other supplies to set up an actual Days for Girls Enterprise—a self-sustaining business that will both employ girls and women, and facilitate their completion of schooling with their end product.
Nice to know that the no. 1 community college in the USA is also Number One in the eyes of those on the other side of the planet!