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.
Dec 18, 2012

You did it!

Kgotso
Kgotso

Did you hear? Days for Girls International is a brand new Nike Girl Effect Champion for 2013 thanks to you! What does that mean? Greater awareness of the consequences to girls and women worldwide going without menstrual health management (MHM). Because with awareness comes momentum for change.  And important funding to reach more girls worldwide. In fact, your support added up to more than $15,000 in November. That is a lot of girls, training and supplies. Thanks to you. In addition it adds up to PR support from the Girl Effect, as well as additional funding. All of that means more girls celebrating more days of education, health, and dignity.  We are still grinning ear to ear at all that you helped make possible. Can you blame us for sending you a standing ovation of thanks?

Now empowerment is already on the move: 2,000 yards of PUL, the speciality fabric required for the moisture barrier in kits, has been ordered and is headed to Kenya and from there some to Uganda and Zimbabwe. 2,000 yards! That adds up to 40,000 shields. Thanks to you. Seriously big impact. And the next training for Uganda Representatives that train Ambassadors of Women's Health is funded so the in-country pilot there can be furthered. From there it can be scaled worldwide. Kit supplies are being gathered for Kenya, Uganda, Malawa, and Zimbabwe. Can you feel the momentum? The thousands and thousands of girls and women having more days of freedom, more days of education, more days of empowering their communities, families and friends.

How much impact is your support giving? It is changing the world. You see, when you empower girls and women, they stand up for their communities, they pass the good on, they empower those around them. Last Fall in Zimbabwe a shy woman named Grace was one of the 50 being trained to be an Ambassador of Women's Health. I had wondered why her  Chief had selected her out of all of the candidates to come train from her region and when I saw her tiny perfect hand stitches it became apparent. This woman has real skills. But it was the next moment that took my breath away. She looked up at me and said quietly, "This is going to change our world."  Or 11 year old Kgotso (pronounced Go-tso) that learned how to make kits and went on to teach the girls in her school to make them. Kgotso no longer considers herself an orphan, but a leader now. I wish you could see all of their faces. The smiles, the hope, the joy. Lives change thanks to your support. 

We'll report more soon, but we just had to share the results of your donations. Thank you for joining us in championing for girls. You did it!

With gratitude,

Celeste

Nov 27, 2012

A Cascade of Results

We wanted to let you know about the progress in Kenya.  It never ceases to amaze us, how such a direct and simple solution opens so many doors. Discussions that might be considered taboo suddenly become approachable because a universal need is being met in important, sustainable ways, along with vital education about how periods happen and the fact that without periods there would be no people. All in thanks to your important support.

In the past several weeks we've received important reports from the Days for Girls project in Kenya.  Did you know that in Kisii, Kenya involvement in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) dropped by 30% after presentation of Days for Girls kits? We had been invited to talk about FGM with the girls themselves. We asked to speak to the cutters separately. We expected maybe a half dozen. Instead there were dozens of women who showed up. We discussed that we were not there to tell them what to do. We were there to invite them as leaders to make a new decision and keep their tradition but cut out the cut. To our delight the responded positively. Two days later the six head cutters arrived to declare that they were laying down their knives. The next rite of passage dropped from 92% involvement to a reported 62%. Now there is more news.

Rosemary Obara
was our translator that weekend and she not only testified of her own trauma as a victim of FGM but she continues to speak out against the practice in her homeland, Guisii Province. Today she runs for another public office on the platform of ending the practice and making life easier for girls, including access to sustainable feminine hygiene.

Meanwhile we have learned that liners are wearing out... which is good news. Because that means they are being well used and still desired. And that liners last 2 - 3 years! Great news because that is a lot of time in the classroom.

Several hundred kits are now on their way to Kenya. Communities there are mapping out their strategy to meet the needs of all of the women they serve. Two thousand yards of PUL are now being ordered to travel by cargo to Mombasa, Kenya to be divided between Kenya and Uganda, so that more kits can be made for girls and women.


We return again in February to take supplies and do additional training. So we'll have more stories and photos for you. In the meantime, thank you for your important support.

Oct 30, 2012

Heroes at work

Some of the trainers in Zimbabwe after teaching
Some of the trainers in Zimbabwe after teaching

Linda, the Director of Days for Girls Zimbabwe, kept going despite pain and illness for months, working to do training and distribution of kits for girls and women. And then came the opportunity to go to Germany to seek greater medical care options and to be with her husband. Yes, Linda had left the USA to return to her homeland of Zimbabwe to take Days for Girls to her nation. I don't know about you, but we find that amazing. That she has so much passion that she would move her family-- even when her husband would be leaving for another location.

And an amazing thing happened as she prepared to leave, the other women trained to be Ambassadors of Women's Health (thanks in part to YOU) stepped up and are keeping the program going. The remarkable thing is that they are all volunteering. Something many say is unheard of when they are living in such an impoverished place. They have a passion for ensuring that girls have access to feminine hygiene. They know personally how high the stakes are and they have seen the joy that girls have when they learn about reproductive health, safety and that they can have quality feminine hygiene they can count on month after month. 

Currently, the trainers are focusing on reaching groups through schools and churches as they teach women to make their own kits. Most are being done in the Bullawayo district and Lupane district at this time.

The pilot program currently has 8 sewing machines in place.  Our next step is to get more sewing machines to the rural team leaders so they can teach girls in their areas how to sew on the machines and the resulting kits will be as durable as they can be. 

Local women's groups are focusing on their local areas to save funds, with plans to expand the program to more areas when more fabric is available to them.  It is part of the Project Plan for the team to train more local women in the program once there is sufficient funding for more fabric.

Another exciting development is that other schools, nonprofits and even the Minister of Education David Coltart have support for our specific design of kits and hygiene and empowerment training as well as in receiving pad kits for their girls and in eventually expanding the program even more!

The girls benefiting from the program are reporting consistent results - that since they received their kits they now can stay in school. After a full year all of the girls report using their kits consistently, and in four cases, they preferred the washable even when their school had occassional access to disposable, saying that their DfG kits are more comfortable and that disposables have tape that does not hold well and do not work as well.

The team in Zimbabwe and the Days for Girls International team both would like to sincerely offer our gratitude to all of our generous friends through GlobalGiving for helping to sponsor this program.  It's working!

Teaching girls to make their own kits
Teaching girls to make their own kits
An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $30
  • $35
  • $40
  • $60
  • $100
  • $185
  • $350
  • $2,000
  • $30
    each month
  • $35
    each month
  • $40
    each month
  • $60
    each month
  • $100
    each month
  • $185
    each month
  • $350
    each month
  • $2,000
    each month
  • $
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Days for Girls International

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Days for Girls International on GreatNonProfits.org.