from International Service Chair Bill Maule
Kingston Rotarians  work hard to raise money to support  our charitable projects.  Here in Kingston the results  can be seen and appreciated.  But for our overseas projects we just have to tell you about them. Side-By-Side helps level the playing field for  women and girls  seeking education and good jobs.
Today, Blessing nearly didn't come to school. No, its nothing serious this time. Its just that exams are over and teachers are preoccupied with grading. It seemed too much trouble to just go for the comradery of her classmates and a lunch she wouldn't get at home.
     But she's super glad that she did make the effort because today the Side by Side Ambassadors of Women's Health came to her school to do a presentation on Reproductive Health. Not only did she learn a great deal, as she leaned forward to soak it all in, but she was also given a wonderful Days for Girls reusable menstral hygiene kit.
    Who would have thought that over the course of just 3 years she would most likely spend about 180 days menstruating? Yikes! They calculated that in those 180 days a girl uses about 900 pads, Each pad costs around R2 (about 15 cents). That means in 3 years she could spend about R1,800 ($135). Gasp!
    Imagine throwing that kind of money away! Her mother only just makes that much in a whole month. (If she can get work.) No! Blessing is so grateful she was given her very own washable kit. She's definitely going to tell her mom and sisters about this so they can hopefully start saving to buy their own from the nice ladies who came to her school today.
    As wonderful as the lesson was, Blessing was relieved it was over in time to get in line for her school lunch.   Her new kit is tucked safely in her school bag. She walks arm in arm with her girlfriends, giggling and biting off mouthfuls from her crescent of cabbage. Cut like a wedge of cake, this piece of cabbage and these friends weren't the only reasons to celebrate coming to school today.
    Thank you for partnering with us to bless the "Blessings" in this country. It makes a tangible difference in her every-day life.