Rural Zimbabwe women go without safe feminine hygiene, leaving them using unhealthy methods. Lack of supplies raises school dropout rates, increases infection and can lead to exploitation. This project trains 50 Zimbabwe women from diverse rural provinces to be leaders and teachers of community trainers throughout their nation to make quality washable feminine hygiene supplies, while also providing girls with hygiene, safety and health training. Their networks can reach between 9 - 10,000 women.
Rural girls and women face days with no access to feminine hygiene solutions. According to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education, this directly effects dropout rates for girls once they reach menstruation. This lack is not limited to young girls. Women of all ages are forced to use unsanitary methods of feminine hygiene including leaves, bark, newspapers, rocks and corncobs. This often leads to infection, isolation and increased poverty by limiting education and employment.
Days for Girls International and Days for Girls Zimbabwe provides training and supplies, as well as sanitation, safety and women's reproductive health education for rural Zimbabwe women. The women are also taught to multiply the results by training others to teach about feminine hygiene, including how to sew their own supplies.
This project will educate 50 Zimbabwe women leaders to train entire communities to provide feminine hygeien, health and sanitation for themselves, impacting thousands who can then educate others and keep girls healthy and in school. According to a feature in Sept. 2011 National Geographic, "The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school."