GUILDERLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local girl scout recently completed a seven-step leadership project that involved identifying a global issue and taking action to create a lasting change to earn her gold award – the highest award a girl scout can earn.
Girl Scout Madison Mackey is a senior at Academy of the Holy Names in Albany. She is always keeping busy. “I absolutely love doing community service — I think it’s really a part of who I am and I love helping other people,” says Madison.
Through her Girl Scout’s Leadership Project, Better Future Better Life, Madison is bringing awareness to an issue women around the world are facing, a lack of menstrual hygiene products. “In these countries, girls are missing up to 50 days of school a year because they’re menstruating. They don’t have access to menstrual supplies. When families are only making 1-3 dollars a week, their priority is not getting menstrual supplies for girls,” says Madison.
Madison is part of a group who put together menstrual products from all different kinds of supplies. Madison started a partnership between her school and The MoonCatcher Project, a Schenectady based organization that helps supply and create reusable, washable menstrual pad kits. The kits are shipped to Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Haiti, Honduras, Pakistan, and Indonesia.
Madison hosted a MoonBee (an event where these reusable menstrual pads are made) at her high school, where over 100 MoonCatcher Kits were made. She also held a social media fundraiser for the MoonCatcher Project in support of women’s month and raised over $2,800 which enabled approximately 535 kits to be made.
“Our overall economy is so much better in America compared to these third world countries. To be able to help other girls that look like me, I just think it’s absolutely amazing and even though I don’t know them. It feels so empowering and it makes feel good helping other girls stay in school because education is so important,” says Madison.
Making the kits is a step-by-step process. Once the pad kits are made, they are easy to use. The kits come with pictured instructions. The kits with waterproof material. “Tyvek is actually incorporated in the kits because it creates a waterproof liner for the kits so when the girls are menstruating nothing will soak through,” says Madison.
The pad kit making will continue, even when Madison heads off to college next year. The Girl Scout hopes to soon meet the girls she has helped along the way. “Even though I don’t know them, it just feels so empowering and it makes me feel so good that I am helping other girls stay in school because education is so important.”