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!