Days for Girls International

Creating a more dignified, free and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions.
Oct 11, 2013

You, Empowering Girls... Your Results Report

Hello,

Happy International Day of the Girl! We thought this is the perfect time to report back about the girls and women you have empowered with your support. In the past few months Days for Girls kits have reached a milestone of service to 61 nations on 6 continents. YOU have been a big part of that. Your support of Days for Girls has enabled not only more momentum to reach more women and girls but also has expanded in-country training measurement and results in Uganda and beyond so women in the nations we serve can meet the needs of their own communities. The lessons we learn from different trials will help us to scale feminine hygiene solutions around the world in a way that empowers girls, women, communities and local leadership and economy. It's working and it isn't easy, but you have made it easier with your vital support. 

DfGUganda Team members biggest projects from recent months has been refining local manufacturing methods and setting up and implementing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) program. The M&E program has been led by students from BYU, who are working with Days for Girls to measure how Days for Girls kits are impacting school attendance. In addition, we are measuring how the reproductive health training is impacting self-esteem and how girls view their roles in communities. This M&E program aims to capture the whole picture of every sector of a girl’s life that is impacted by Days for Girls programs. The M&E program will conclude in October and then be drafted into a published paper. We'll report back when we have those results. We're grateful for the effort and we're willing to ask questions about what's working, and what might not be, for the sake of the girls and more awareness worldwide. We've been asking hard questions all along our journey and the results have been innovations led by the wisdom of the women we serve. Those innovations are working.  

Meanwhile many partnering orgs have transported our kits and supplies with us and provided important distributions. Hundreds and hundreds of kits and bolts and bolts of specialized fabrics purchased with your support that are now being put to work to create kits in Uganda and beyond.

During the past several months, the Uganda team has also continued to provide health education to schools in Kampala and beyond. For many girls, this is the only chance they will get to learn about essential health matters and to ask questions, so the information we’re providing couldn’t be more important. More and more kits have been handed out all over the nation as women also learn to make their own.

In addition to working with 3 schools to implement the M&E program and continuing reproductive health training, the Days for Girls Uganda team has been hard at work getting ready to fill large kit orders. One high school in eastern Uganda has ordered 800 kits! With demand like this, it’s a good thing we’re scaling up! 

How we’re scaling up is the current focus. The Days for Girls kit design is in demand far and wide. There is no end in site. However, even more than needing a hygiene kit, women want to know how to make the kits and earn income from selling them in their communities.

There is a huge demand among NGOs worldwide to invest in training for women who already know how to sew. Because of this, Days for Girls Uganda has already been able to build new partnerships, both with Ugandan and international organizations. Days for Girls team members are sewing and reproductive health experts, and that's exactly what we want to share with women in Uganda. Many income-generation projects exist for crafts, but DfG Uganda will be moving beyond that, providing women the skills, materials, and business support to enable them to sell something that every woman needs.

There are a lot of very exciting new developments as we move forward in our next steps. We are proud to welcome Eliza Chard, our new Uganda Country Director. Our staff members will also have some important new responsibilities as they gather data, serve to train trainers, provide kits and learn how to be better leaders in tackling these issues throughout their nation. It's an important effort not just for Uganda but to be scaled in the many nations also asking for this level of support in reaching women and girls lacking basic resources to manage their health and dignity month after month after month in a way they can count on. Thank you for being part of so many lives changed for good. Stay tuned for the reports from the M&E. We can't wait to share.  Just one small snapshot of the many places you are empowering with more health, dignity and opportunity as we work to reach every girl. Everywhere. Period. Thank you!

Gulu Uganda August 2013 with African Promise
Gulu Uganda August 2013 with African Promise
Receiving a kit of her own in Gulu, Uganda
Receiving a kit of her own in Gulu, Uganda

Links:

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:

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