Teach Zimbabwe Women to Provide Feminine Hygiene

by Days for Girls International
Nyadzisayi T. at New Ground
Nyadzisayi T. at New Ground

You sent support and Linda Guhza bought flannel for liners and sheeting fabric for the shields. Among the beneficiaries was Mind the Gap, a Zimbabwean nonprofit to help with their ongoing efforts to raise awareness among the girls and to have supplies they need. We also visited Elitsheni women’s group to train more girls in their area.

Lupane: Another bolt of PUL (Polyeurothane Laminate, the special moisture barrier fabric that keeps shields from leaking through) was sent to Lupane as they are progressing very well and they have managed to secure more funding from other NGOs as well and they are currently supporting and training more than 27 schools in the district and training more than 30 women.

At Zvishavane: Mhandamabwe High School more students we supplied pads in Zvishavane are now regularly attending classes even when they are experiencing their monthly periods. We are working very hard to keep sanitation improved in Mhandamabwe High school by providing water facilities and clean washing facilities for the girl’s toilets with the help of the village service chiefs and local member of parliaments. The head teacher at the school where the sanitary pad project is being implemented said, "This makes school, girl friendly, thus reducing the level of absenteeism for the girl child."

A Remind School : As this is a rehabilitation center there are always new girls at the facility all the time and we need to expand and improve our efforts. We are still in the process of assessing whether it will be viable to establish a continuous program at the facility and maybe have a DFG ambassador go there about once a month. Our continuous training and engagement will have a tremendous impact from what we are learning. This year we intend to expand our efforts here.

New Ground: We would like to expand our activities this year by sending 300 pads in Shurugwi district by end of September as we have identified 3 potential schools that are in dire need.We are also treading carefully to engage more schools as new schools keep on requesting our services and training but we have to have the resources for each before committing to them. 

Thank you for helping us reach more girls. Please tell others about these important projects. We can reach more with your help.



Letter from Nyadzisayi  T.
Letter from Nyadzisayi T.
Linda, DfGZimbabwe director teaching Luveve school
Linda, DfGZimbabwe director teaching Luveve school

Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you and for the amazing people we have had the privilege of serving with and serving for in Zimababwe... that includes YOU. Some of the most moving stories of results and courage of those standing up for their community to have more access to feminine hygiene and more health knowledge have been from this project in Zimbabwe. So many heroes who have overcome ill health, poverty and transportation issues just to keep teaching and sharing how to make kits and how to stay healthy. In fact, in one location we learned they were skipping meals so they could afford transport to keep teaching... as volunteers... in Zimbabwe. It's unheard of but they have that level of passion.  We asked them not to skip meals and to seek support for transport. You sent it.  We are so grateful for your support in making it all happen. The director of Days for Girls Zimbabwe has been in Germany with her family and we are working with her and a new partner to ensure that large scale materials are available to those making kits in Zimbabwe. It's promising, but it is a process that is taking time. So for a small window of time we will can all celebrate a job well done in Zimbabwe and pause to get ready to send a whole lot of resources to the strong and resilient women in Zimbabwe. Thank you for being part of the empowerment there. Please consider staying with us on our Empower Women in Africa with Hygiene project and stay tuned for more information about what's next for Zimbabwe.

Sending our appreciation for your part in changing SO many lives.

And many more to come.

With Gratitude,


Learning to sew washable feminine hygiene kits
Learning to sew washable feminine hygiene kits


Learning how to make her own kit
Learning how to make her own kit


Hello from Zimbabwe,
I just returned from being in the field to check on progress with those trained as Ambassadors of Women's Health and also those who have received kits. With elections pending, everything seemed to be on locked or go slow as they say in Zimbabwe. Government offices were closed and all government and private schools were ordered to close because most schools were used as polling stations and most teachers were polling agents\officers but I did what I could to follow up.
Starting with mind the Gap and Umthunzi weThemba where DfG hero Kgotso stays:
They like the pads and they really prefer to use the pads but the greatest challenge there right now is water rationing that's going on in Zimbabwe. (Water can go for 3-4 days and when it comes back its so rationed that the kids at the orphanage are allowed one bucket per child.) Still, Mothers of the homes that we trained and the girls are very happy and still using the pads and they were requesting for supplies especially flannel and PUL to replace their worn out liners. Which is a good sign thst they are using them well. We trained 7 mothers of 7 different orphanages that are being run by Mind the Gap so they can continue the program.
Met with Lameck and he had slowed down a bit on training having reached hundreds already) because of Elections because any small gathering could be used against you so he ontinue to train more women and he had interesting stories on how women pay attention to him when he is training especially the hygiene part. The Lupane Women's Center  Manager was talking of doing more after the elections.
Remind School
They had lots of new girls and some of the girls we saw last time had gone. The ones present had their kits still and were using them. They were asking if we could establish a continuous program at the facility and maybe have someone go there to present about once a month. They liked our training.
There are so many new places opening up and  had so many people calling for help especially High school teachers in Rural areas. Talking on the way forward and l don't know how this is going to happen but we need to set up a office or a room where people can be able to identity us and so we can also be more  traceable.  There are so many organizations that have started making pads but are doing it the wrong way thst does not work as well and also a bit clumsy  Most of them have taken the DFG concept but implementation is different. I returned from the field to find one family member injured so more photos and details to come. 
- Linda.

Note from Celeste, DfGI Director: Again and again we see results and expanding numbers, because you share your support. Thank you! Linda took fabric and funding for sewists to make more kits. We'll get more photos and details to you as soon as they come in. PS: Love it when schools wear out their liners... always a good sign. : )
Linda with Lameck, a DfG hero in Lupane
Linda with Lameck, a DfG hero in Lupane
Girls at Mabhikwa Secondary School in Lupane, Zim
Girls at Mabhikwa Secondary School in Lupane, Zim

Two years ago 52 individuals gathered in Bullawayo, Zimbabwe to learn how to be Ambassadors of Women's Health and to make washable feminine hygiene. Two of those individuals would not take no for an answer as they reached out to their communities and instructed with the knowledge they had gained. They also had the leadership of a Governor who embraced Days for Girls with enthusiasm. Those two, one a woman and one the first ever male Ambassador of Women's Health, are on course to cover their entire district. They have covered 27 schools.
From the 27 schools covered 50 students were selected to represent their respective schools and were trained. Several women from the community were selected to take part in this exercise and were trained too.
Also there’s women’s groups that, using the knowledge and fabric resources that you made possible, is also making pads in Lupane, this group applied for grants and loans to forward their efforts loan from an International NGO to make pads, and will pay back the loan in December 2013.  Since January they have managed to make 200 kits of which the Manager of the centre says, “It’s quite an achievement considering the fact that it’s the farming season.” (During the farming season most households would rather put their focus and energy on farming since its their source of livelihood) in countries like Zimbabwe women are the backbone of farming.
Now they are requesting more fabric and funding for fabric.

The amazing thing is that as we continue to prove this model and improve upon it, that EVERY District in Zimbabwe can be served and the model can be applied elsewhere in the world as well. There are still the other 50 Ambassadors, awaiting more services to reach more girls and women. It's breathtaking to consider all that is possible. World peace... One pad at a time. DfGI will be taking more fabric and resources to the team in Zimbabwe this Summer and gathering their stories and results. That fabric and needed resources will be there, in part because of YOUR support.  

Thank you!

Kits they are making in Lupane, Zimbabwe
Kits they are making in Lupane, Zimbabwe


The first girls to receive DfG kits
The first girls to receive DfG kits

Did you know that Days for Girls is committed to reaching every girl, everywhere. Period. By 2022. That can only happen with lots of collaboration, and by empowering in-country programs as well, like this one-- one of the first-- and the women you have helped in Zimbabwe.  We were set to return again next month, but elections worldwide are not always a safe place to travel during election time. It is very difficult for us to wait to bring more supplies and empower more training in Zimbabwe. And at the advice of trusted allies, our scheduled trip has to wait.

The girls and women in Zimbabwe have taught us over and over again the gravity of the situation they face without access to hygiene. It was in Zimbabwe that a Minister of government said, "Dignity can't wait" when she heard about what we do and in response embraced our program and the dignity it restores.  I'll never forget the 16 year old girl who came to a health clinic 3 days after they had distributed Days for Girls Dignity kits. She was one of many who traveled there after word got out. The leaders there tell us that she wept when she heard that the kits people were talking about were all gone. She explained that she had been using corn cobs for hygiene in an effort to stay in school and now had such severe infections that scarring had taken place.  All because she wanted to learn and have a future. It was in Zimbabwe that Kgotsu taught us that an 11 year old could take the lead and teach her fellow classmates about feminine hygiene and how to make their own. Afterwards she said, "I no longer consider myself an orphan" because now she is a leader. It was in Zimbabwe that a newly trained Days for Girls Ambassador of Women's Health told me, "This is going to change our world."

Your support has made such a difference. We are commited to continuing this important effort. So you can imagine how it pains us to wait to keep the results going. Meanwhile those already doing training and making kits are doing what they can and soon, hopefully very soon, we will be able to get more supplies and support to the team there. When we do, your support will be with us. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, we continue our programs worldwide. Because it's true... dignity can't wait. Thank you for your support in making it all happen.


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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Lynden, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.DaysforGirls.org
Project Leader:
Celeste Mergens
Lynden, WA United States

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