Shattering the Shame

by Days for Girls International
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Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame
Shattering the Shame

Thank you for your donation to Days for Girls’ Shattering the Shame project through GlobalGiving.Becasue of you, we are continuing to reach some of the most vulnerable women and girls in rural Nepal. I hope you take pride in knowing what this means to thousands of women and girls. With your gift, we are able to mitigate the negative effects of a number of issues surrounding menstruation.

Our outreach in Nepal does not only involve females. With portions of your donated funds, we are also reaching out to boys with our Men Who Know curriculum. In these courses, we teach boys the menstrual cycle, anatomy, human trafficking, and how to respectfully support the women and girls in their lives. 

Most recently, our area of focus has been in the Kailali District, Sudurpashchim Province in western Nepal. Using proven strategies, the following are our goals for this region: 

  1. Increase women and girls’ menstrual health knowledge through increased access to accurate and well delivered menstrual health education;
  2. Positively impact women and girls menstrual experiences and confidence managing menstruation through the local production and distribution of DfG washable pad Kits;
  3. Reduce stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation in the community through education awareness sessions and women’s circles and encouragement of community and peer-to-peer conversations regarding menstrual health and women's health;
  4. Work with the local community to develop ways to honor religious tradition while keeping women and girls safe and respected. To shift cultural practices surrounding chhaupadi (the harmful practice where females are relegated to huts and cowsheds during menstruation) into alternate rites of passage ceremonies and customs;
  5. Build local leadership and capacity on subjects including menstrual health, alternate rites of passage, and women’s health;
  6. Educate men and boys on sexual reproductive health and menstruation;
  7. Create job opportunities and increased livelihoods for the women residing in the Kailali area through engagement, capacity building, and support of the local DfG Social Enterprise; and 
  8. Evaluate the impact of the project and learnings for the future through comprehensive monitoring, learning, and evaluation (MLE).

None of this would be possible without the support of incredible donors and partners such as yourself. Our ability to conduct life-transforming education and menstrual kit distributions is thanks to the care and compassion that you have shown. Thank you for helping us turn periods into pathways.

Namaste!

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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!

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Like most of the world, Nepal has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. John’s Hopkins University reported that by the end of 2020, Nepal had over 260,000 positive cases and over 1,800 deaths from COVID-19. We are proud to share that Days for Girls remained vigilant in our efforts to end period poverty, thanks largely to your support for our Shattering the Shame program through GlobalGiving.

From December 2020 to January 2021, with your donations, our Days for Girls Nepal team provided Days for Girls Kits, menstrual health education, and facemasks to 2,509 women and girls in the Kalikot District. Our Nepal team also conducted Men Who Know workshops for 371 men and boys. At the beginning of the sessions, each participant was given a facemask and taught effective hand-washing techniques. Participants in both the Ambassador of Women’s Health and Men Who Know workshops then learned the mental and physical changes that occur during puberty, and the importance of healthy menstruation. The females were taught the menstrual cycle and proper feminine hygiene techniques, as well as home remedies for abdominal pain during menstruation. Using your donated funds, each female participant was given her own Days for Girls Kit and taught how to properly care for the reusable pads so that they will last approximately three years. The men and boys were taught why girls menstruate, basic male and female anatomy, and how to support females during menstruation. All participants were taught self defense and how to avoid becoming victims of human trafficking. 

Days for Girls continued our goal of ending the practice of chhaupadi. Chhaupadi is the Nepalese tradition of relegating women and girls to cowsheds or huts during menstruation. Samjhana Adhikari of the Kalikot District Women and Children Office estimates that 95% of women in the district have participated in chhaupadi. This dangerous tradition has resulted in deaths of women and girls from cold temperatures, suffocation from farm animals who provide warmth, wild animal attacks (including snake bites), and rape. Male and female participants in the Kalikot District workshops learned that menstruation is not a result of sinful acts, but rather a healthy bodily function. None of this important advocacy work would have been possible without your financial gift.

2020 was a hard year for all of us; but it was especially difficult for the world’s most vulnerable populations. But thanks to our amazing donors, all of this was made possible, even during a pandemic! And at Days for Girls, we remain committed to our mission of ending period poverty. Thank you for your support.

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Maya Khaitu, Nepal Country Director
Maya Khaitu, Nepal Country Director

Our work in Nepal is stronger because of your support and the amazing local leaders who bring both passion and expertise. For this reason, we would like to provide this opportunity to highlight Days For Girls Country leader, Maya Khaitu.  

When Maya first joined DFG in 2016 as a translator, she was almost too shy to talk about periods in front of a class. But that didn’t last long! As soon as she realized the life-changing power of menstrual health education, she dove in headfirst and never looked back.  

Now Maya is leading a nationwide effort to shift mindsets about menstruation -- including fighting the harmful practices of chhaupadi, which forces women and girls to live in cow sheds (or open fields) during their period. To combat these practices, DfG Nepal partners with local leaders to host women's circles: intergenerational discussions about health and tradition meant to help shatter the stigma surrounding menstruation. 

More than anything, Maya is passionate about helping women and girls realize and celebrate their worth. Her favorite part of the role is connecting with women from all walks of life, hearing their stories, and continuing to grow Days for Girls impact -- thanks to you!

Maya Khaitu (right); Days for Girls Nepal
Maya Khaitu (right); Days for Girls Nepal
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Because Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics, Days for Girls’ Shattering the Shame project is moving forward in Nepal. This is in large part thanks to your continuing financial support for women and girls in hard-hit rural communities.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Kathmandu office has received numerous calls for DfG PODs (Personal Objects of Dignity). Our Nepal Enterprises have been able to respond to this need, as well as continuing to create DfG Supreme Kits. Furthermore, our office staff has reached out to our Enterprise leaders to provide data collection and project management training, thus improving their entrepreneurial skills. In doing so, we are coaching future leaders in areas that desperately need menstruation advocacy. 

With recent world-wide travel restrictions, our “Boots on the Ground'' are needed now more than ever! Our capable Nepalese Enterprise leaders are continuing to provide DfG menstrual education and Kit distributions. Your funds have been used by our Kathmandu office to translate our Men Who Know program into Nepali and young Nepalese men are learning how to support the females in their lives and the healthy process of menstruation. Because of you, we are also able to raise awareness around the illegal and destructive practice of relegating women and girls to huts during menstruation, known as chauupadi. DfG remains vigilant in shifting cultural practices to be safe for all girls and women.

With all of the recent global chaos, we thank you for your financial support and commitment to the women and girls of Nepal. And know that now, more than ever, Days for Girls remains committed to our mission to improve the lives of Every Girl. Everywhere. Period.

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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Mount Vernon, WA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @daysforgirls
Project Leader:
Erin Hale
Bellingham, WA United States
$58,549 raised of $75,000 goal
 
1,857 donations
$16,451 to go
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