Days for Girls International

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

May 14, 2013

Lift a girl. Lift a Nation. The change you are making in Africa for a girl... times thousands

Joan training girls in Uganda
Joan training girls in Uganda
 It's contagious, the knowledge that you have been making possible for girls and women in Africa. The additional days of more health, dignity, productivity and education made possible by your sponsored Days for Girls kits are adding up. Even the confidence that Days for Girls kits make posible, it's all contagious and expanding thanks to you.
Your support is making it possible for girls to have the important hygiene kits that help them stay in school AND for young leaders to be trained and have resources to get supplies to girls. Young women like Joan N in nothern Uganda who was trained to be an Ambassador of Women's Health and now teaches girls in her nation about menstruation, health, hygiene and how to make kits. Here's her report and a photo of her teaching in her community under the shade of a tree. "I conducted training in Kumi district. It was very interesting and the girls also liked it. Thank you for the skill you gave us, now we can stay at school even in our days which was difficult before." Anne K. responded to news of Joan's efforts by thanking YOU. She says,"Thank you SO much for investing in Joan's training and the supplies/kits you so generously donated to this group of girls in Uganda. This group of girls is one that's close to my family's heart and we are so glad to have learned about DFG." Real women. Real girls who have more dignity, more knowledge, more opportunities. Your support is working.
Thanks to your donations, many women trained to be Ambassadors of Women's Health are reaching girls and women in remote communities of Uganda and Zimbabwe. These rural communities have limited opportunities for education and lack many basic services, your support and new partnerships are empowering hygiene and health education for thousands, thanks to you. Days for Girls is now working to provide supplies and education people would not otherwise receive without your support.
Last summer we went to Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe to conduct training for over 100 women to become Ambassadors of Women's Health so they could reach out to break cycles of shame and limitation by sharing menstrual hygiene managment  education and how to make their own washable femiine hygiene kits. We were on a shoestring budget and trusting those we worked with to be the leaders we knew they could be for their communities. Since then your support started making it possible for more and more resources and training to reach them. Thousands of girls now have kits and more every day.  In addition, sewing cooperatives are able to have more work for those they train, giving much needed employment as well, all while providing more dignity and opportunity for girls. The Ugandan DfG team is putting systems and partnerships in place to scale up. But that doesn't help you to see the tremendous change you are effecting. You see, your support is about the multiplier effect. What you are making possible is women (and men) helping women and girls, and the shaping and proving a model that can be replicated and scaled, and that is big. But it is more than that, it is about the girls.
One girl, her story, times thousands. Girls like Kgotso, an 11 year old Zimbabean girl who has taken it upon herself to teach other girls in her school to make Days for Girls kits. She says, "I no longer consider myself an orphan. I am a leader."  Or Sharon in Gulu, Uganda, who is also an orphan living with her grandmother. She reports that before she recieved her kit she had to ask her grandmother for "Always" money, which would upset her grandmother because she did not have the money. So then Sharon would ask a neighbor because she did not want to miss school. Her neighbor would sometimes help but Sharon would wear the disposable so long that it would create blisters and hurt. Now that she has a Days for Girls kit she says she doesn't have to ask for what she needs and they are soft and comfortable so she doesn't get sores anymore.  There are many, many more girls, thanks to you.
Olivia, the director of DfG Uganda reports, "We humbly submit that we had a chance of forming clubs and identfyng Ambassdors in the Mukono District, Gomba District and Maddu District and one community in Mutundwe in Kampala. Introducing Days for Girls in schools both in Primary and Secondary schools. St. Ann primary school, Nakibano primary school, Umea Islamic school, where we conducted a health education on how to keep proper hygiene and how to stay in school, free from distruction of having issues concerning menstrual periods and shared the importance of washable kits and how effective they are in our daily needs." Many have received kits but others are waiting for more fabric for more kits. And it is on its way to them thanks to DfG supporters like you, and they were recently able to purchase local fabric as well to make kits for those schools and more.
 
In Zimbabwe two individuals would not take no for an answer as they reached out to their communities and instructed with the knowledge they had gained. They also had the leadership of a Governor who embraced Days for Girls with enthusiasm. Those two, one a woman and one the first ever male Ambassador of Women's Health, are on course to cover their entire district. They have covered 27 schools, and reported reaching thousands of individuals.
 

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.

 It's breathtaking to consider all that is possible. World peace... One pad at a time. DfGI will be taking more fabric and resources to the teams in Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Kenya (as well as Zambia and Malawai) this Summer and gathering their stories and results. That fabric and needed resources will be there, in part because of YOUR support. 

Thank you!


Their own kits thanks to Joan... and DfG supporter
Their own kits thanks to Joan... and DfG supporter
Kgotso-- she
Kgotso-- she's the smallest girl in the photo
Sharon
Sharon

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