Days for Girls International

Days for Girls International provides sustainable means and education for impoverished women worldwide who lack acess to sanitation to be productive every day of every month. Because no woman should go without access to quality sanitary feminine hygiene.
Aug 29, 2013

Momentum- Counting the Results You Make Possible

Learning how to make her own kit
Learning how to make her own kit

 

Hello from Zimbabwe,
 
I just returned from being in the field to check on progress with those trained as Ambassadors of Women's Health and also those who have received kits. With elections pending, everything seemed to be on locked or go slow as they say in Zimbabwe. Government offices were closed and all government and private schools were ordered to close because most schools were used as polling stations and most teachers were polling agents\officers but I did what I could to follow up.
 
Starting with mind the Gap and Umthunzi weThemba where DfG hero Kgotso stays:
They like the pads and they really prefer to use the pads but the greatest challenge there right now is water rationing that's going on in Zimbabwe. (Water can go for 3-4 days and when it comes back its so rationed that the kids at the orphanage are allowed one bucket per child.) Still, Mothers of the homes that we trained and the girls are very happy and still using the pads and they were requesting for supplies especially flannel and PUL to replace their worn out liners. Which is a good sign thst they are using them well. We trained 7 mothers of 7 different orphanages that are being run by Mind the Gap so they can continue the program.
 
Lupane
Met with Lameck and he had slowed down a bit on training having reached hundreds already) because of Elections because any small gathering could be used against you so he ontinue to train more women and he had interesting stories on how women pay attention to him when he is training especially the hygiene part. The Lupane Women's Center  Manager was talking of doing more after the elections.
 
Remind School
They had lots of new girls and some of the girls we saw last time had gone. The ones present had their kits still and were using them. They were asking if we could establish a continuous program at the facility and maybe have someone go there to present about once a month. They liked our training.
 
There are so many new places opening up and  had so many people calling for help especially High school teachers in Rural areas. Talking on the way forward and l don't know how this is going to happen but we need to set up a office or a room where people can be able to identity us and so we can also be more  traceable.  There are so many organizations that have started making pads but are doing it the wrong way thst does not work as well and also a bit clumsy  Most of them have taken the DFG concept but implementation is different. I returned from the field to find one family member injured so more photos and details to come. 
 
- Linda.

Note from Celeste, DfGI Director: Again and again we see results and expanding numbers, because you share your support. Thank you! Linda took fabric and funding for sewists to make more kits. We'll get more photos and details to you as soon as they come in. PS: Love it when schools wear out their liners... always a good sign. : )
 
  
Linda with Lameck, a DfG hero in Lupane
Linda with Lameck, a DfG hero in Lupane
Jul 15, 2013

Basic Health... Huge Effect

Linda, DfGZimbabwe director teaching Luveve school
Linda, DfGZimbabwe director teaching Luveve school

Thanks to your support, we trained over 50 girls at KG6 (King George the 6th) Special needs school. Linda is returning  to do follow up by August 1 thanks to your recent support she has been able to pay an elder woman to purchase fabric and sew more liners for them.

Who is Linda? Linda Guhza is the Director of Days for Girls Zimbabwe. She is dedicated to reaching more of the girls and women of her nation because she has experienced what happens without access to feminine hygiene herself, "When I was a young girl my mother worked hard to support our family and we were able to go to school. But I had to use whatever I could to stay in school and many times I left in shame because I had a stain. Boys laughed at me. If I wasn't so determinined, I would not have made it. I understand how hard it is. I want to change that." Linda has been away from Zimbabwe for a few months now. She is returning on July 22nd to bring more fabric and follow up on results with those trained as Days for Girls Ambassadors of Women's Health there. She reports, "Our outreach to empower women by giving them dignity and their days back led us to one of the biggest Female Prisons in Zimbabwe (Mlondolozi Female Prison) we had the rare opportunity to train over 100 female inmates [on] how to make their own reusable pads. Prisons in Zimbabwe are overcrowded and female inmates live under unsanitary conditions which can lead to poor health and the spread of infectious disease. Daily these women prisoners are confronted with unique challenges namely menstruation among others and no special attention is given to female inmates and sanitary wear is not provided. They were happy beyond words."

She reports that, "At Mhandambwe High School in Zvishavane we trained 50 girls and 4 teachers and I am returning to see how they are as well.  And to follow up in Elitsheni where 120 women were trained in how to make their own pads, about their bodies and even to make a Tippy Tap handwashing machine."

Your donations made those trainings and the materials possible. Your donations are funding more fabric while she is there. And that (as you can probably tell) means the world to her and to us. Thank you! She will be sharing pictures and more results when she returns. I can't wait to hear all of the details and to share it with those of you that make it all possible. Thank you!

Asking questions about menstrual health at Luveve
Asking questions about menstrual health at Luveve

Links:

Jun 6, 2013

The Difference You Have Made in Kenya

Glad to have their kits
Glad to have their kits

Teams are gearing up to return to Kenya in July and we wanted to give your a report of recent progress.

Meet James Waruiru of Kenya. He literally came to the rescue when he learned that a girl was missing from his village. He helped in the search and found her curled beneath a tree sobbing because she had been embarrassed by her period starting and students mocked her. She felt she could never return to school. He promised to get her disposable pads. She returned a month later with 6 friends, explaining that they had the same problem. Soon he was helping to find sanitary pads for hundreds of girls and women in his village and beyond by providing hygiene but it was not sustainable and he was struggling to keep it up. He shared his story with Diane Brask and she and DfG Anacortes chapter members brought 300 Days for Girls kits to his project. Those kits have been delivered. Here is what he says, "This by far is one of the best initiatives. It has become an indispensable resource in our local community insuring many poor girls remain in school during their menses. The impact is seen in immediate academic improvement in the girls. The local community appreciates our work and this gives us the energy to go on even though the challenges are many since the demand for sanitary towels far surpasses our supply. Fountain of Hope Life Centre is happy to be associated with Days for Girls. We are reaching out for more Days for Girls kits because we have much more girls we need to provide for. " Go James! Diana said she was amazed at the positive response to the kits. That in all of her travels she had never seen such a reaction of joy. She went as far as to say, "If I had brought 400 iPads to the girls it would not have been as great a response as we received when we brought these S-pads."  (Sanitary Pads).  We will be partnering with James and his team and Diana in an even bigger way very soon helping his cooperative to sew kits themselves to create more solutions for more girls and women and to improve the economy in their community.  The story repeats itself all over the world. In Kenya alone thousands more kits have been made possible. Your support has provided kits, fabric, training and results for many women in Kenya. Thank you!  

We know that you have many ways that you could contribute to the world and we are honored that you found us and decided to step up to serve with us. We continue our work on Kenya and around the globe. We are completing this particular project, but you can follow the momentum you started on Facebook.com/DaysforGirls or on our website DaysforGirls.org and on Global Giving at Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education (#11580)

I hope that you can see in the girls' faces how much this means to them and that someday you can come and see it for yourself. Thank you for adding more days of dignity, health and opportunity for girls and women in Kenya with us. So glad you have become an important part of the team.

With Gratitude,

Celeste

A hygiene kit of their very own
A hygiene kit of their very own
Kits change lives
Kits change lives

Links:

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