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!
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.
From the 27 schools covered 50 students were selected to represent their respective schools and were trained. Several women from the community were selected to take part in this exercise and were trained too.Also there’s women’s groups that, using in part the knowledge and fabric resources that you made possible, are also making pads in Lupane. This group applied for grants and loans to forward their efforts to make pads. Since January they have managed to make 200 kits of which the Manager of the centre says, “It’s quite an achievement considering the fact that it’s the farming season.” During the farming season most households would rather put their focus and energy on farming since its their source of livelihood and in countries like Zimbabwe women are the backbone of farming. They did this with the PUL fabric DFG supporters like you provided. Now they are requesting more fabric and funding for fabric.