Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women

by Days for Girls International
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women
Menstrual Dignity for Refugee Women

We’re delighted to share that with your support, Days for Girls reached 45,250 refugees/IDPs with menstrual health products and education in 2022. This takes our total to 255,661 refugees and IDPs reached since 2008. In 2022, our efforts included the following projects:

  • Our volunteers produced and shipped 17,340 Kits to Somalia to be distributed to refugees with partner World Vision. These will be distributed throughout 2023.
  • We reached 2,350 people in Lebanon with DfG Kits and education in 2022, the majority of which were refugees.

Back in 2019, we embarked on our first big project with our volunteer Chapters and Teams. We established our collection points, developed partnerships, and collected, quality-checked, and packed 46,571 volunteer-made DfG Kits for distribution by World Vision. 

Due to the large number of Kits and COVID, the distributions took place across 2020-2022. World Vision distributed the Kits in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, and Lebanon.

In addition, since 2019 and as a result of this initial project, our partnership with World Vision has expanded significantly and we have also sent:

  • 6,568 Kits to Afghanistan
  • 17,255 Kits to Burundi
  • 22,181kits to Somalia (including the 17,340 mentioned above)
  • 7,723 Kits to Haiti

totaling an additional 53,727 Kits to refugees and IDPs

What an impactful 3.5 years with World Vision it's been through the development and implementation of our refugee and IDP response! For a glimpse of the difference you are making with your support, check out this video by World Vision.

As we begin 2023, we have exciting partnerships and requests for Kits to reach refugees and IDPs. We look forward to the year ahead and we’re grateful for your generosity!

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As the world’s refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) populations continue to grow, Days for Girls’ response follows suit. Humanitarian aid that prioritizes people with periods has long been a pillar of our work at Days for Girls. Our response is only possible because of the generosity of our supporters. We salute you!

As need increases, so does our outreach. When disaster strikes, emergency responses often under-fund or exclude menstrual health care – leaving displaced women and girls unable to meet basic needs. We are committed to closing this gap on a global scale by providing vital period products and education to menstruating refugees and IDPs.

With your generous support, our volunteers have, so far in 2022, produced, donated and shipped 44,125 DfG Kits and provided Menstrual Health Education for humanitarian relief across the globe, including:

- 3,000 DfG Kits sent to Jordan to continue our ongoing partnership with the National Women’s Healthcare Center (NWHCC); 

- 3,600 DfG Kits donated to @thesidewalkschool, an organization that serves displaced children seeking asylum on the US-Mexico border;

- 11,145 Hybrid DfG Kits (a customized Kit that includes both washable and disposable products) and four pallets of disposable products donated to displaced people affected by the conflict in Ukraine through our partners at Global Empowerment Mission and Direct Relief;

- 21,001 DfG Kits and MH Education are now being distributed to refugees in Chad in partnership with Watoto Read and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA;

- Volunteer Chapters and Teams in Australia and New Zealand reached 5,291 people with DfG Kits and MH Education following the volcano eruption and tsunami in Tonga.

Nobel Prize Winner Mother Teresa wrote: “I cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” With your help, we are making as many ripples as possible in the form of menstrual dignity to some of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.

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Kit Distribution in Chad
Kit Distribution in Chad

Thanks to you, our amazing GlobalGiving donors, we are making a difference in the lives of women and girls in Chad. Currently, Chad hosts a large number of women and girls in particularly vulnerable positions because of the influx of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) from Sudan and the Central African Republic, Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram, and 115,000 returning Chad citizens who had formerly been displaced. Such a concentrated population coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, political unrest, the impact of climate change, internal development issues, chronic poverty, and a tense socio-economic environment have made it even harder for women and girls in Chad to access period products.

Using your generously donated funds to address this urgent need, Days for Girls’ outreach in Chad is in full swing. In October 2021, we successfully conducted our virtual Training of the Trainers in Arabic. We are overjoyed with the 80 women and 54 men who were trained in DfG’s Ambassador of Women’s Health and Men Who Know programs. These 134 individuals are now leaders in their communities and mentors for young people. Also, after frustrating shipping delays, we are pleased to share that our menstrual kits arrived in Chad, cleared customs, and our new leaders have begun distributing the 21,001 kits in 13 refugee camps. With each kit distribution, more women and girls are receiving vital education and menstrual dignity, and more men and boys are learning how to respect and support the women in their lives. 

We are also pleased to report that distributions continue among refugee and IDP women and girls in Jordan. We recently shipped 6,000 menstrual kits with help from our partner Convoy of Hope. Each of these kits represents knowledge, respect, and a sense of control over one’s period that every woman and girl deserves. 

Thank you for your important role in our outreach to individuals across all of these populations.

Kit Distribution in Jordan
Kit Distribution in Jordan
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Now, more than ever, your commitment to ending period poverty is reaching some of the most vulnerable women and girls in Jordan. Together, we have accomplished amazing outreach with refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the past few months! We are overjoyed to share with you some of the ways your funds have, and will continue to make a difference.

  • The National Women’s Healthcare Center (NWHCC) in Jordan just finished distributing 3,500 Kits in January 2022 and are looking forward to distributing more. NWHCC has traveling clinics where midwives trained in the Days for Girls Ambassador of Women’s Health curriculum, teach and distribute Kits to Jordanians, refugees, gypsies, and other marginalized populations.
  • Jordan Medical Aid for Palestinians (JMAP) is in the process of distributing 1,000 Menstrual Kits to Palanstinian refugees. They have also partnered with NWHCC to complement each other's work and resources to reach more people. Also, 2,400 DfG Kits are currently on their way to Jordan for distribution through JMAP. They plan to distribute 100 Kits per month throughout 2022.  
  • In total, we anticipate sending 7,200 Kits to Jordan for distribution in 2022 via Convoy of Hope, NWHCC, and JMAP.

Each one of these Kits represents a woman or girl who will not be hobbled by the burden of menstrual inequality. These Kits will give back days, hope, and dignity. 

Maha Saqqa, Director of JMAP, shared: “When I was growing up, there were no trash bins in the bathrooms in school; no place to throw away pads. It is shocking to me that 30-40 years after I was a child that we are still struggling to provide girls with what they need growing up … [The consequence of ignoring menstrual health and the needs of girls is that] she hides or keeps quiet; embarrassed. [This reality] moved me to be a part of the solution, to partner with Days for Girls!”

Maha believes that if girls are able to get an education, they “will be our voices later in life. Education guarantees that they will carry this torch later in life.” Maha hopes to pass on information to girls so that they will understand their bodies and know their rights. “The Kits are practical, and solve the immediate needs, but the menstrual health education is what creates this change!”

Maha’s motto for girls is “She has a right to care for her body.” We could not agree more, Maha!

Thank you for your important part in ensuring refugees and IDPs have the knowledge, tools, and opportunity to care for themselves and those around them.

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Menstrual kits prepared for shipment
Menstrual kits prepared for shipment

Thank you for your donations to the Dignity for Refugees and Internally Displaced Women project through GlobalGiving. With your support , on August 15, Days for Girls sent 21,001 DfG Menstrual Kits to Chad. We expect the kits will arrive in-country in early October. Starting in mid-October, we will be conducting virtual training sessions for 134 individuals (80 women and 54 men) for Ambassador of Women’s Health and Men Who Know courses. Those trainers will then conduct kit distributions (including vital health education) from late October through the end of 2021. Distributions will be conducted in 13 different refugee camps in Chad. This enormous project would not have been possible without your support!

I hope you take pride in knowing what this means to thousands of women and girls. Because of your gift, we are able to mitigate the negative effects of a number of issues surrounding menstruation and female dignity for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The following are three of the specific ways your donations are bringing dignity to women and girls in refugee camps and IDP communities:

Problem #1:  Disposable pads in a refugee or IDP setting are a temporary and often unsustainable fix. Disposable pads posed a challenge during lockdown because their use requires a steady supply of product month after month. When supply chains were disrupted, school-based distribution programs shut down, funding streams were reallocated, and product costs rose in some countries. As a result, access to disposable pad products decreased significantly. Supply chain, funding, and inflation issues are not unique to the current pandemic. Access to disposable menstrual supplies can also be affected by political instability, weather related disasters, inflation, and other health crises from which a region or nation may suffer. Any one of these issues can drastically reduce refugee and IDP’s access to disposable supplies.

Solution: Days for Girls pads give women and girls control over their own menstrual hygiene, month after month, without being dependent on supply chain issues. Once a refugee or IDP receives a patented Days for Girls Kit, her menstrual needs are covered for at least three years. 

Problem #2: Disposable pads are often the cause of unfair stigma against women and girls who reside in areas which lack adequate infrastructure. Refugee camps often do not have sufficient waste disposal. If menstruators are not able to dispose of their soiled pads properly, their pads often remain in the communities for all to see. This creates shame, embarrassment, and stigma against women and girls for the otherwise healthy process of menstruation. 

Solution: When a menstruator has her own washable, reusable Days for Girls Kit, she has no need to dispose of anything. She is able to wash and reuse her kit over and over. Days for Girls Kits are purposefully made to not resemble a typical menstrual pad. The brightly colored, heavily patterned components hide stains and resemble typical washcloths. So even if the menstruator hangs the components outside to dry, she won’t have to feel embarrassed.

Problem #3: Menstruators in refugee camps often struggle to access accurate and timely information about menstruation. Lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information for both boys and girls can result in menstrual stigma and taboo, unwanted teen pregnancy, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Solution: Days for Girls distributions include vital health education. Girls learn the menstrual cycle, hygiene, anatomy, self defense, proper kit care, and ways to avoid becoming victims of human trafficking. In our Men Who Know courses, boys learn the menstrual cycle, anatomy, human trafficking, and ways to support women and girls. 

These are just three of the ways that Days for Girls is using your funds to support some of the most vulnerable women and girls (and boys too!) in Chad. It is our goal to end period poverty, even in refugee settings, and with your help, our goals will become a reality.

Thank you!

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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Mount Vernon, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @daysforgirls
Project Leader:
Tessa Bryant
Mount Vernon, WA United States
$76,559 raised of $100,000 goal
 
878 donations
$23,441 to go
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