The International Day of the Girl was held on Monday October 11 in Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park and was organized by Maggie May Larocque under the auspices of Maison Interlude House (MIH) in Hawksbury. The event provided young women, between the ages of 12 and 18 to view displays, receive educational information and participate in a craft workshop or self defence demonstration.
Linda Bissonette, Supervisor at MIH, explained the event provides a “day where we celebrate our girls and give them an opportunity to be heard”, for they are our future. She mentioned there were several organizations attending the event including Cornwall Police Services, Mison Interlude House, Sunrise Rotary Club and Cornwall Rotary Club as well as representatives of the local Girl Guides of Canada and Seaway Valley Community Health Centre.
Linda Rodgers and Jessica McLeod from the Seaway Valley Community Health Centre (SVCHC) mentioned their display included a mirror for the girls to look into and then write a positive message about themselves on a sticky note which would be then placed on the mirror. They also have activity sheets and literature available to assist in the establishment of a positive self-image.
The Sunrise Rotary Club and the Cornwall Rotary Club had a display on the “Go with the Flow” program which free menstrual supplies to young women in developing countries or here at home. Sharon Miller explained how during a visit to India she noticed there were a significant number of young women who weren’t in school. She discovered this was because of them experiencing problems managing their menstruation and eventually stopped going.
Miller continued after explaining the problems encountered by school aged girls in India to her friends after her return to Canada, they formed the group was formed. She explained the group has made over 300 kits each year since its formation, which have been sent to either a Rotary Club or trusted partner in the country. These kits contain containing washcloths, travel size soap, underwear, large plastic freezers bags, tri-fold pads, moisture barrier shields and a large drawstring bag. The tri-fold pads, drawstring bag and moisture barrier shields are made from donated material and sewing supplies by group members. Miller suggests emailing her at email@example.com for more information.
The well-attended event was two hours in duration, lasting between 10 a.m. and noon providing an opportunity to spend some time out of doors while learning about the opportunities which the women of tomorrow will enjoy.