Feb 5, 2021

Ending Period Poverty Among Refugees in Somalia

Menstrual Kit Distribution in Baidoa, Somalia
Menstrual Kit Distribution in Baidoa, Somalia

2020 was a hard year for all of us, but it was particularly hard for the world’s most vulnerable populations. For this reason, your support for African refugee women and girls has been so important. At Days for Girls, our mantra for the past year has been Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics. Your support made it possible for us to continue to bring important tools and education to refugees in Africa despite the barriers.

Utilizing key partners in the field, 4,082 DfG menstrual Kits were distributed to refugees in Somalia in 2020. Similar projects are planned for refugee women and girls in South Sudan in early 2021. Target populations include displaced women and girls who fled their homes due to drought, food insecurities, and conflict. Besides menstrual health training, other goals for these projects include reducing gender-based violence against women and children and strengthening reporting mechanisms for child protection. A partner reported: “Receiving the DfG Kits helped women and girls feel valued, in the knowledge that something so beautiful was designed especially for them, ‘to help them feel appreciated.’” 

Story from the Field: “Sahara [age 15] shared the challenges of managing her period in a cultural context that marks menstruation as ‘shameful’. ‘At my age of puberty, by 12 years, one day while I was at school [and] I experienced bleeding. The cause of bleeding [was] unknown since I was the only daughter of our house. I [felt] shocked and stress[ed] about bleeding. I was using my head cover and fabric materials for pads. One day, my mother gave me a piece of fabric, and she told me not to tell anyone about my situation, since it [is] shameful to discover the issue of menstruation. [At] age of 13 years, I experienced symptoms of pain in [my] lower abdomen … and burning sensation when urinating. I [went] to hospital and my doctor told me that I have urinary tract infection [due] to use of unhygienic pads during menstruation.’ With her new Days for Girls Kit, Sahara feels confident to manage her menstruation with dignity: ‘Now, I am very happy to participate in Days for Girls and receive this reusable kit.’

Our work would not be possible without the support of our incredible donors. Thanks to your gift through GlobalGiving, girls like Sahara now have the tools they need to stay healthy and the education to make informed decisions about their own bodies. These girls can now lead the charge to help other women and girls in their communities to change menstrual stigmas, stay in school, and end period poverty. And thanks to you, all of this was made possible, even during a pandemic! 

Jan 22, 2021

Finishing a Tough, Yet Productive Year

We’re not going to lie, 2020 was a tough year! But thanks to you and your support of our Empowering African Girls campaign through GlobalGiving, Days for Girls has been able to continue bringing vulnerable women and girls in Africa dignity and safety through vital period supplies and knowledge.

One example of your impact during the last quarter is the Make Your Own training program that our country leaders in Ghana carried out in November. For three days, 27 girls in the Volta region gathered to make our patented Days for Girls Kits (which currently include face masks), and distribute them throughout their communities. This training was done in collaboration with our amazing partner, Plan International. Twenty-seven girls were also trained in our Ambassadors of Women’s Health program. They are now leaders and advocates for women’s health issues in their communities; making it possible for them to continue to train others, effectively multiplying Days for Girls’ reach. These same girls were also trained in marketing and sales modules, giving them the know-how to start their own small businesses, making and selling Days for Girls Kits in their communities. COVID-19 has emphasized the power of locally led efforts, being the most effective during a pandemic to keep our work going.

Thanks to your support, not only will the lives of these girls change, but so will their families, their future families, and their entire communities. These girls will now lead the charge in making sure that women and girls in their communities have the tools and knowledge to eliminate period poverty and feel empowered to make healthy decisions. And with your help, we were able to do all of this, even in a pandemic! 

So yes, 2020 has been tough, but we have remained vigilant in our mission and we move forward, knowing  that we will reach many more women and girls throughout Africa in 2021. Thank you for being part of our success!

Oct 27, 2020

Days for Girl's Response to the Beirut Explosions

On August 4th, two devastating explosions struck the port of Beirut, Lebanon. With help from your donations, Days for Girls was one of the first NGOs to respond with aid to those affected by the tragedy. 

The aftermath of this tragedy – combined with the impacts of COVID-19, civil unrest, and widespread economic turmoil – has significantly hindered the ability of Lebanon’s women and girls to manage their menstruation. An estimated 84,000 menstruators were displaced from their homes following the Beirut explosions, and now struggle to meet basic health needs in temporary shelters or settlements. Meanwhile, the cost of period products is skyrocketing nationwide – untouched by government subsidies designed to make other “essential goods” more accessible amidst widespread inflation and poverty. These conditions are especially difficult for the already stretched refugee communities of Beirut.

In response to this crisis, your donations allowed Days for Girls Lebanon to double down on efforts to reach as many women and girls as possible. Prior to the explosions, this local team focused primarily on bringing menstrual health solutions to Syrian and Palestinian refugee communities. Now, DfG Country Coordinator Khayrieh Al Assaad is leading local menstrual health champions in a coordinated effort to serve both refugee and Lebanese women and girls. 

To date, Days for Girls Lebanon has helped distribute washable face masks to more than 4,200 people in Beirut, and is in the process of distributing over 21,000 DfG menstrual health Kits to women and girls as well (in partnership with local and international organizations). Partnering with local NGOs, our Lebanon team has also distributed 300+ hygiene boxes (shampoo, soap, towels) and 500+ boxes of clean water.

We could not do this important and timely work without your continued support. We know that our Days for Girls supporters are also impacted by global crises, which makes it all the more remarkable that you continue to care for the world’s most vulnerable communities. Thank you!

 
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