Participating in the 2021 #GivingTuesday campaign
All eligible donations will help this project receive a larger portion of this campaign's $1,000,000 incentive fund!

Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon

by Days for Girls International
Play Video
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
DfG Pod - "starter" pack sold by Micro-Enterprises
DfG Pod - "starter" pack sold by Micro-Enterprises

Living in a conflict, or post-conflict situation, means life can change in the blink of an eye, and "solutions" can feel fleeting, insecure, or like bandaids to the real problems going on. At Days for Girls, we can't solve every challenge faced by Syrian refugees today (we wish we could!) - but there is one problem we can help to solve: access to basic hygiene for women and girls. GlobalGiving has provided the opportunity to learn more about the menstrual hygiene and women's health needs faced by Syrian refugees, mostly in Lebanon, and to distribute DfG Kits and education in specific areas. Now, the GlobalGiving community is helping us take our impact to the next level! 

Days for Girls, with the support of GlobalGiving, is embarking on a partnership with Mercy Corps Lebanon to empower girls and women in three community Centers with DfG Kits, Ambassador of Women's Health training, and training & materials to launch DfG Micro-Enterprises. This means that in addition to an initial set of free DfG Kits being made available, girls and women will have long term access to purchase DfG Kits (or components) from local Syrian women running these Micro-Enterprises. Micro-Enterprises are currently benefitting from comprehensive evaluation on a global level to improve the materials and resources we use to get them started and support their on-going efforts!

The past few months have been filled with planning calls, drafting work plans, translating materials, reviewing previous research & notes, and mapping supply chain to make this all possible. In the next quarter, Days for Girls will travel to Lebanon to implement this program with our friends at Mercy Corps. It's true this solution hasn't happened in the blink of an eye, but you can bet the impact will be lasting, secure, and addressing the real hygiene access needs of this population. Thank you for making this possible!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Doaa with DfG Kit. Photo credit: ANERA Lebanon
Doaa with DfG Kit. Photo credit: ANERA Lebanon

Navigating life as a refugee is uncertain at best, and there is not always an easy answer to the big questions. But when it comes to hygiene, and ensuring dignity for women – there is a simple solution. The Days for Girls Kit allows girls and women to manage their menstruation easily, month after month, providing a basic level of certainty and dignity. This past month, The Muscat, Oman Chapter of Days for Girls partnered with ANERA to distribute 200 DfG Kits in an informal refugee settlement in Akkar, Lebanon, with an additional 200 DfG Kits distributed at a women’s prison and another settlement.

“These awareness activities are much needed here, given the circumstances in which we live within the gathering,” said Doaa, one of the recipients of the DfG Kits. Partnerships such as this one between Days for Girls, ANERA, and the Global Giving community mean that it is possible to match needs with solutions, even in hard to reach areas.

This year, Days for Girls is aiming for even bigger impact by investing more in our partnerships and sustainable solutions for in-country DfG Kit production & education. Building on the growing evidence of need and demand for the DfG Kits, and working with the groups that have been trained in basic DfG Kit production, we will be investing more in our DfG Micro-Enterprises in Lebanon. Because when it comes to menstrual hygiene and women’s health education, there is an easy and certain answer!

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
DfG Kit Collection in Seattle
DfG Kit Collection in Seattle

Here in the United States, politics are not as usual. With the administration's attempt to restrict our willingness to accept others into our country, we are reminded that all of us have a history of immigration and seeking a better life elsewhere, even if it was our generations long past. The catchphrase "We are all refugees" has been born out of that idea, and we are seeing it used more and more by those of us who are actively assisting refugee populations. 

This reporting period, I stand behind that phrase. We Are All Refugees. And in the spirit of that idea, our project has just completed a big undertaking- we have assisted with the shipment of over 1,500 Days for Girls Kits to Jordan!

Our friend DeeDee volunteers with Salaam Cultural Museums in Seattle, Washington and was keen to collect DfG Kit to send on their next container headed to Jordan to supply their medical missions teams. The supplies were headed to Zaatari Camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world. The latest UNHCR data reports a population in the camp over 79,000. DeeDee asked DfG Chapters and Teams in the USA if they would donate DfG Kits.  She asked for 300. 

She received over 1,500.

Thanks to this GlobalGiving project, we were able to assist our volunteers in getting their DfG Kits to DeeDee and on to Jordan. Shipments came from all over the country, and the support was overwhelming! Salaam's medical teams will now distribute the much-needed feminine hygiene supplies. Women and girls will now have access to a washable, sustainable solution to their menstrual needs. Salaam's medical teams asked specifically for cloth pads, as the sanitation and garbage disposal situation in camps is not adequate for disposable pads. In addition to women at Zataari, the DfG Kits will be distributed by medical teams in surrounding hospitals and other camps as well. 

And I'll give the incredible DeeDee the last word here:

"Your donated DfG Kits will provide a tangible and measurable improvement in the lives of many Syrian refugee girls and women. Thank you."

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Amel Association training
Amel Association training
  • 2 waterproof shields,
  • 8 flannel liners,
  • 2 baggies,
  • 1 soap,
  • 1 washcloth,
  • 2 underpants, one cloth drawstring bag.

The DfG Kit costs $12-$15 to create. Small but mighty. As 2016 comes to a close, we reflect on the impact our project has made for Syrian women.

Over the last year, we were able to get 3,140 DfG Kits to women in need throughout Lebanon. Partners like ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid), IRC, Akkar Network for Development, and Mercy Corps made it possible to get DfG Kits into informal refugee settlements and remote areas where it would not have been possible otherwise. Over 100 women have been trained to sew DfG shields for themselves and family/friends, and our friends at ANERA have created two micro-enterprises to help get DfG Kits to women quicker than waiting for volunteers to bring them from abroad! Not only will these women help their sisters in need, they will be earning a small income for themselves as well.

In the year ahead, we will continue to distribute and support Syrian women who have fled to Lebanon, but we will be expanding our reach. As 2016 ends, we have been busily working to connect with new partners in Turkey, Jordan, Greece, and inside Syria itself. Some of our goals for 2017 include:

  • Distribution at least 10,000 DfG Kits to Syrian refugees
  • Assist the Lebanese micro-enterprises in expanding their production and creating a solid supply chain
  • Partnerships with NGOs working in formal camps in Amman, Jordan
  • Equip the Amel Association Community Center (Beirut) with sewing machines and fabrics for their beneficiaries to make their own DfG shields and liners (we have already trained a seamstress to teach there)
  • Coordinate distriubutions with DfG Muscat and DfG Dubai, and assist them as needed financially for projects involving Syrian refugees in their countries
  • And my personal goal: to get DfG Kits into the hands of the Syria Civil Defense's ("White Helmets") two all-female teams

The support of Global Giving donors has made all of this possible and will continue to keep us going through 2017 and beyond. The struggle for Syrian women today is enormous. We will ease their burden by giving them one less thing to worry about! We do not want any woman to have to decide between food and pads. We do not want any woman to feel undignified or unclean because of lack of sanitary supplies. We will be there.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

In the northern part of Lebanon, the Akkar District is home to over 100,000 Syrian refugees. According to the UNHCR, "On average, refugees earn 20,000 LBP (USD 13) per day, with women much more likely to be paid less. With earnings reportedly too low to cover basic expenditure needs for the household, many refugees relied on alternative sources of income to support themselves and their families - sometimes deploying negative coping mechanisms and strategies"

In partnership with ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid), we are proud to report that there are now two established DfG sewing teams in Akkar. We recently returned from a trip to Lebanon where we saw firsthand the dedication of these women and the high quality of their work. These teams will be sewing and assembling DfG kits to be marketed to the many NGOs that operate inside Lebanon. This will give women in Akkar an opportunity to earn income for their families, allow aid workers to access feminine hygiene supplies quicker and more efficiently, and provide sewing training for other women in the communities who are interested in learning that skill. 

We have trained staff members of ANERA, Mercy Corps, IRC, and several local Lebanese NGOs regarding the proper distribution and awareness sessions that accompany the DfG kit. These sessions provide not only a beautiful DfG kit that a woman can use for years to come, but they also provide a safe space to discuss menstrual hygiene and reproduction with trained leaders and other community members. Many women tell us at our distributions that they had never had a thorough explanation of their menstrual cycle! One highlight of the awareness session is the menstrual chart that each woman receives in her DfG Kit with instructions for how to use it. This helps a girl to plan ahead, knowing when to expect her period and to be prepared with her supplies. It allows a woman the opportunity to know when she is most and least likely to become pregnant.

With the support of our many GlobalGiving donors, we have been able to supply the new DfG teams with enough fabrics to complete 250 shields. Each team received a hand snap and removal tool, a large supply of plastic snaps, a fabric die cutter, and the printed menstrual charts to accompany the DfG Kits. Recurring and new donations will allow us to purchase more supplies for the teams, hold more extensive sewing training sessions, business and marketing trainings, and the opportunity to travel to Lebanon to assist with supply chain development and quality control. 

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Mount Vernon, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @daysforgirls
Project Leader:
Erin Hale
Mr. Vernon, Washington United States
$73,205 raised of $130,000 goal
 
1,085 donations
$56,795 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Days for Girls International has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.