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Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education

by Days for Girls International
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
Empower African Girls with Hygiene and Education
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. 

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
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.”

As we ponder our resolutions for the new year, we can’t help but reflect on the incredible journey that was 2018! With your support, we saw our Enterprise program grow to include 11 more countries and 28 new Enterprises, equipping local women (and some men!) with the resources and trainining needed to earn additional income and promote  long-lasting, environmentally-friendly menstrual health solutions for the women and girls in their communities. In just 12 months, our Africa programs sold more than 35,505 DfG Kits and donated tens of thousands more to girls and women in need of sustainable menstrual solutions. Your dedidcation to DfG's mission, combined with incredible teamwork, planning, evaluation, and hours in the field made all of this possible! 

And we have even more in store for 2019. This year opens up a whole new horizion of opportunities and initiatives. We are doubling down on our commitment to monitoring & evaluation in order to ensure we are serving the women and girls we reach in the best way we can.

The West Africa team is poised to travel around the region supporting new Enterprises and reaching girls in brand new communities – including countries like Togo, Senegal, and Burkina Faso, to name a few.

The East Africa Team is gearing up for a large school-based pilot that will see thousands of girls participating in menstrual health clubs and partnering to improve menstrual hygiene practices and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, Enterprises are forging ahead to advocate for menstrual health policies in the government, including the adoption of a standard for washable pads in both South Africa and Swaziland. We are grateful for partners like you that make all of this work possible; together, we plan to make 2019 a year to remember!

On November 1st, Days for Girls will celebrate 10 years since its founding. That is 10 years of sewing, teaching, learning, laughing, and breaking barriers for girls and women. In celebration of the thousands of girls, women, boys, men, and communities that have been part of this effort, Days for Girls launched the Global Girls Festival to run throughout the month of October - happily coinciding with International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11th.

This festival gave extra liners for Enterprises that are making and selling DfG Kits, and encouraged a flurry of distributions, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100,000 women and girls. And guess what - thanks to the efforts of our local Offices, Enterprise partners, volunteer Chapters, and generous contributors like you, we are on track to surpass that goal! That's right - because of you, 100,000+ women and girls will have gained women's health education and their very own DfG Kit by November 1st. Check out some of the photos to see how our partners are celebrating throughout Africa and the world! 

 

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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Bellingham, WA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Libby Daghlian
Bellingham, WA United States
$72,976 raised of $90,000 goal
 
1,981 donations
$17,024 to go
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