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Empowering African Girls with Health & Education

by Days for Girls International
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education
Empowering African Girls with Health & Education

“Periods don’t pause for pandemics.”--Celeste Mergens, Founder and CEO of Days for Girls. Even with the upheaval that is being felt worldwide, your contributions are continuing to give women and girls in Africa hope. And hope is needed now more than ever.

 

During the first quarter of 2020, Days for Girls African Enterprises continued to provide employment opportunities for women in sub-Saharan Africa. In March, Enterprise leaders in 16 countries met in Kenya and Uganda with a team from Days for Girls International. Enterprise and country leaders were instructed on ways to improve their businesses; including branding, marketing, reporting, time management, budgeting, and goal setting, as well as improvements to Ambassador of Women’s Health and Men Who Know curriculum instruction. DfGI leaders answered questions and addressed concerns from Enterprise leaders. And Enterprise leaders received DfG officially branded materials with enthusiasm.

 

While in Kenya, DfGI leaders met with government officials including staff from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Gender offices and received enthusiastic support for DfG efforts. The First Lady of Bomet County, Kenya sat in on discussions and pledged her support for our campaign to end period poverty and empower women and girls in her jurisdiction. 

 

DfGI leaders also went to schools in Kenya and provided much needed menstrual education and DfG Kits to girls. Girls were taught how to handle their periods with dignity. During one course, a local news team arrived and filmed and interviewed girls and leaders. As the news team left, they pledged support for doing their part spread the word to end menstrual shame.

 

With the recent COVID-19 crisis, Days for Girls African Enterprises will continue to provide menstrual supplies and education to women and girls. And, we are pleased to announce that DfG has included sewing masks for local healthcare workers and those individuals most vulnerable to the spread of the virus. To learn more about our #Masks4Millions campaign, click here.

 

More than ever before, women and girls in Africa need our help; both in the fight against period poverty and the battle against the COVID-19 virus. Your generous donations are making a difference in the lives of so many of the world’s most vulnerable.

 

Thank you!

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DfG Enterprise Leaders in Ghana
DfG Enterprise Leaders in Ghana

Happy new year to our GlobalGiving family! At Days for Girls, we rang in the new year with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for this past year, and determination for the year ahead. With your support, our Africa-based Enterprises were able to reach over 50,000 girls and women across the continent in 2019! This double impact saw girls and women gain access to environmentally friendly products and women’s health education, while simultaneously supporting an income and leadership opportunity for African women (and men, too!). 

Yet, while we worked with existing partners to maximize impact and reach, we also doubled down on strategic planning so that we can ensure every resource and opportunity is bringing us closer to Every Girl. Everywhere. Period - with sustainable menstrual health solutions. This included intensive conversations around theory of change, market analysis, supporting operational efficiency, and investing in evaluations. Recent evaluation results in Rwanda saw a 30% increase in the percentage of girls who preferred washable pads as a period solution following DfG Kit distributions. Meanwhile, girls in Ghana saw a statistically significant reduction in shame and distress while managing menstruation following their Ambassador of Women’s Health training. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we hope to learn and achieve as we head into this new year. Thank you for traveling this journey with us, and supporting improved menstrual health for girls and women across Africa!

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DfG Boma Enterprise leads Kit making session
DfG Boma Enterprise leads Kit making session

“We are a family at Days for Girls.” Milkah, the DfG Enterprise leader from Eldoret, Kenya, beams as she reflects on four jam-packed days during the East Africa Enterprise workshop. This workshop, which was one of three to take place in Africa in 2019, brought together Enterprises to exchange lessons learned, brush up on quality and production tips, and strengthen networks that will allow them to reach more girls and women in their communities. 

What started as a few women sewing and donating DfG Kits, has grown into a network of 100+ locally-owned Enterprises producing, selling, and donating Kits in their own communities. In 2019 alone, our African based Enterprises have sold more than 34,000 DfG Kits. At the same time, the scale of the challenges associated with menstrual health have only grown as silence around the issue is shattered. From minor inconveniences, like surprise at menarche, all the way to devastating losses stemming from unnecessary menstruation shame, there is an urgency in the work that our Enterprises are doing. Yet, as Milkah reflected, maintaining the roots of family, personal touch, and community ownership are essential.

With just a few months to go before the close of the year, our Enterprises are on a mission to reach as many girls as they can. The lessons they learn will continue to be gleaned and integrated into future programming, including welcoming a new cohort of Enterprise leaders in 2020. Thank you for being part of the Days for Girls family. 

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What an amazing West Africa celebration - thanks to you! On May 28th, Menstrual Hygiene Day, the West Africa Days for Girls team was able to host a week-long celebration. The festivities were kicked off by two distributions of 300 DFG Kits to schools in the greater Accra community. In the middle of the week, the office held a community stakeholder meeting with 120 area school, government, and local officials, the Ghana Health and Education service, traditional leaders, students, and parents. The collective events helped to solidify DFG Ghana’s commitment to work in this particular district.

 They also participated in their first ever national forum which was televised on menstrual hygiene in Ghana. Your contributions made it possible for Days for Girls to not only participate in the event, but have an instrumental role in the planning, coordination, and execution of the directives set forth by the event. We’re grateful for your donations that help to provide the leadership to ensure the menstrual hygiene agenda continues to climb up the list of priorities for government, civil society, and private sector interventions alike.

Other successful activities were possible because of your support was the ability to visit seven of our Enterprises in Ghana to support their operational needs and inspect for quality control. Based on these visits, the team is developing a program for an upcoming Regional Workshop in the fall which will largely be focused on strengthening their small businesses.The team was also able to host our Leadership Launchpad (Enterprise training) in office for two new Enterprises and conduct community assessments for an additional three potential expansion sites for DFG Enterprise operations. Stay tuned -- more exciting news to report in the coming months as we grow to reach Every Girl. Everywhere. Period. 

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We thank you for your support!



Ladies of the ASIGE Enterprise in Bolgatanga
Ladies of the ASIGE Enterprise in Bolgatanga
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Leaders share a laugh at the East Africa workshop
Leaders share a laugh at the East Africa workshop

“I know no more fear and really I feel that in myself I have the passion of helping people based on what I have been learning.” Tuzo of Butembo, Democratic Republic of Congo reflected on her journey since launching her Days for Girls Enterprise more than 2 years ago.

Thanks to your generosity and support, Tuzo was able to attend the 2019 East Africa Workshop for DfG Enterprise Leaders this past March. This gathering brought together more than 100 East African women and men from around the region, who are working tirelessly to shatter stigmas for girls and women and create more equitable, healthy communities through their DfG Enterprises. And while our East African leaders were deep in discussion and learning, the Southern Africa leaders were gearing up for their second annual workshop that took place in April and brought together all 11 Southern African Enterprises. 

While a workshop might seem like a simple idea, we’ve seen firsthand how far reaching the impact can be. DfG Enterprise Leaders come from all walks of life – some never completed secondary school while others hold Masters degrees. Some leaders are experts in sewing, while others cultivate a passion for community outreach. The diversity of ages, religions, and languages is astounding. Yet in these workshops, we see all these individuals united by a deep commitment to creating change in their communities and fostering opportunities for girls and women. After learning about quality control measures, marketing strategies, record keeping, partnership development, and so many other topics, the Enterprise leaders go home inspired and ready to take action.

We want to thank YOU for taking action to support these leaders and the incredible work they’re doing day in and day out. But don’t just take it from me, Joyce our Enterprise leader from the Vihiga, Kenya Enterprise might have said it best: “I hope God richly blesses those that donated to make this possible. Usually for us, we pay for education. But here education is free.”

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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Bellingham, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Sandy Clark
Mount Vernon, WA United States
$95,864 raised of $150,000 goal
 
2,499 donations
$54,136 to go
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