Jun 8, 2021

Changing the Narrative from Shame to Celebration

Thanks to your support, Days for Girls continues to change the narrative on Menstrual Health (MH) in Nepal with our patented menstrual health Kits and education. 

We are pleased to report that recently Maya Khaitu, DfG Nepal Country Coordinator and local trainers conducted a distribution of Kits in Kailali District, Sudurpashchim Province in western Nepal. Maya reported that throughout the training, women and girls continued to arrive, swelling the number of participants well beyond what the trainers had expected. 

During the distribution, girls received information on the menstrual cycle, hygiene (including proper handwashing techniques), anatomy, self defense, and human trafficking. They also received a Days for Girls menstrual Kit, specially designed to last up to three years. The girls were taught how to properly use, wash, and care for their Kits so they will achieve optimal results. While respecting religious traditions, DfG trainers talked about the dangers of chhaupadi (the outdated tradition of relegating menstruators to huts or cowsheds and considering them unclean during menstruation). 

One participant wrote:  “Namaste, my name is Mina B.K. Many women and girls do not know how to maintain hygiene during menstruation and to use reusable and other pads in our village. We learned how to manage hygiene during menstruation. We learned about menstruation and use of reusable pads. We also learned about uterus and how it’s works. During the training we learned how the babies happen which will help us in the future when will be the good time to have babies and marriage. DFG pads are very useful for us because we can wash it and use it again and again. DFG pads are easy to carry around when we go out.”

Besides conducting distributions and trainings, our Nepal team continues to support our Enterprise Leaders who are working hard to keep up with the demand for Kits. Despite Covid lockdowns, Maya and her team continue their advocacy efforts with the following recent accomplishments: 

  • Maya was asked to serve on a committee to decide what information to include in a national MH curriculum.
  • The team recruited volunteers who they trained in Ambassador of Women’s Health, they can now lead community MH outreach.
  • Miss Nepal and Maya joined efforts to discuss MH on multiple local radio programs.
  • Maya participated in a MH panel in India to discuss DfG’s successful Social Enterprise Program.
  • DfG Nepal has been collecting and analyzing MH data from small, rural villages in the region to help their advocacy efforts.
  • Our Nepal office submitted a report for an online essay contest for MH Day, resulting in a 43% increase in their social media presence in the region.

These, and other accomplishments have been successful because of your continued support. Thank you for being part of DfG’s global effort to shatter the shame surrounding menstruation. By changing the narrative from shame to celebration, we know what is possible.” --Maya Khaitu

Namaste!

Jun 2, 2021

DfG Expands our Geographic Reach

With the help of our amazing GlobalGiving donors, we are proud of the work we have done together in East Africa, bringing menstrual dignity to refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). And now, we are thrilled to announce that we are broadening our reach to include Chad. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, refugees and IDPs have been left disproportionately vulnerable. Humanitarian responses often lack a gender inclusive lens and therefore fail to recognize the need for menstrual products and support. The menstrual needs of women and girls often go unmet, perpetuating misinformation and stigma. Currently, this problem is especially severe in Chad, which is suffering from multiple overlapping conflicts. Besides the ongoing struggles with the Pandemic, refugees and IDPs in Chad are suffering from ongoing internal development challenges, chronic poverty, the impact of climate change, and a tense socio-economic environment.

In addition to the recently returned 115,000 citizens, Chad hosts Sudanese refugees in the east, Central African refugees in the south, and more than 15,000 Nigerian refugees from Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad region. Your generous donations are key to our outreach mission to these women and girls across all of these populations.

Using your gifts, we are currently collecting, shipping, and will soon begin distributing our patented, long-lasting Days for Girls menstrual Kits in Chad. Along with the Kits, women and girls will receive vital health education. Our health curriculum includes anatomy, hygiene, the menstruation cycle, proper handwashing techniques, self defense, and human trafficking. We will soon provide the tools and knowledge necessary to give a sense of control in a climate too often punctuated with chaos.

None of this would be possible without your generous support. Thank you for your dedication to bringing dignity to some of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.

May 19, 2021

Spotlight on Advocacy During COVID-19

Many of you may know Days for Girls as the organization that provides washable, reusable menstrual pads to girls and women in impoverished areas around the world. Thanks to funds from generous donors like you, we have provided over two million women and girls with the tools they need to handle their periods with dignity since our inception in 2008. But did you know that Days for Girls Kits are only one part of our Theory of Change

DfG is also at the forefront of providing women and girls the most current and vital health education. Our education curriculum includes anatomy, hygiene, the menstrual cycle, proper hand washing techniques, Kit care, self defense, and human trafficking. We also sponsor, mentor, and train social entrepreneurs who create our patented Kits and conduct DfG health education courses as a way of supporting themselves, their families, and communities. We believe this creates sustained change and gender equity. In this report, however, I want to focus on our advocacy efforts. This is a growing aspect of our work and central to our Theory of Change.

At Days for Girls, we build connections with national and international policymakers, coalitions, and organizations who can advance the importance of menstrual health. We are proud of our work in menstrual health advocacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Here is a brief summary of some of the amazing things our core team, volunteers, and Social Entrepreneurs were able to accomplish:

  • Developed a suite of menstrual health wellness materials during COVID-19;
  • Partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the African Coalition for Menstrual Hygiene Management to host a webinar on lessons learned from the MHH COVID-19 response in Africa. This included co-producing two learning documents that were circulated globally from the webinar;
  • Helped plan and launch the South African Coalition for Menstrual Hygiene Management in March and joined their steering committee;
  • Invited to serve on the Toilet Board Coalition (a group of corporate and social investors focused on developing a sustainable Sanitation Economy);
  • Joined the Reproductive Health Supply Coalition on the Menstrual Health Supply Workstream;
  • Played a leading role in securing the South Africa Washable Reusable Sanitary Towel standard;
  • Partnered with MIET Africa to conduct a study on washable pad use among secondary school students in low income communities across South Africa;
  • Hosted a field-building webinar geared towards policymakers and product manufacturers about the development of washable pad product standards in sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Launched a partnership with the First Lady of Malawi’s Shaping our Future Foundation, a long term initiative to support the menstrual health of girls across Malawi;
  • Hosted a webinar for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021 spotlighting current and emerging strategies to support MH in refugee communities, including Rwanda and Uganda, during and after the pandemic.

Thank you for the part you have played in empowering us to join women and girls around the globe in advocating for menstrual health and equity. The funds you donated through GlobalGiving have been key to continuing to help us reach Every girl. Everywhere. Period.

Check our interview with Gender Equity Advocate Puleng Letsie at the DfG Podcast. Or learn more about our policy and advocacy efforts

 
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