Girls worldwide suffer indignities, infection, even exploitation trying to stay in school. Being left to solutions like these. Your support of DfG kits changes lives.
Meet 12 yr old Kgotso (Second from the left. Prounounced Go-tso). She doesn't define herself as an orphan, she sees herself as an advocate for DFG and since she heard about it has been helping others to make their own kits. She learned about DFGZ when Ambassadors of Women's Health traveled to Nzilikazi to teach a girls club of 200. Kgotso is an innovator too. She used her PUL scraps to make a tiny bag for a single liner to take to the latrine during school. Others started making them too. Today she continues to hold DFG meetings at her school. Now THAT's empowering a leader.
The girls were radiant when we shared what we had come with. 500 young women in the slums near Kibera, Kenya received DFGI kits and learned about health, hygiene and safety. According to one report from the World Health Organization 74% of African girls are sexually exploited before age 12, so we discussed not only hygiene and how to use kits, but also about their worth and encouragement to stand up for each other and against abuse. Nicole* (Not her real name to protect her identity) was one who came forward with huge gratitude. She explained that many of the girls were exploited in exchange for hygiene before we came. She said if they wanted to leave their rooms or attend class, they had to agree to have "relations" with the director of their school who would only offer them funds for hygiene if they did. Her testimony was not alone. Many others confirmed her story. When we realized how great the ramifications are for those that go without - and the power a simple solution has, we knew we had to help more. That was the day our program was born.
The doctor's photo made us literally gasp. Victoria* (Not her real name) came a few days after DFGI kits were distributed in Zimbabwe. The kits were all distributed. She wept. She is a bright girl and all she wanted was to stay in school. So she had been using what she had access to - corn husks. The resulting untreated infections were so severe that scarring created crippling adhessions. She is 16 years old. Today she has a safe and healthy solution, thanks to Days for Girls International volunteers.
As weeks progressed the distribution was featured in the national newspaper. More and more women requested DFGI kits. We answered the call by traveling there to train women so they can train women to make kits - a project that resulted in thousands of Zimbabwe women regaining days of dignity, education, safety, and health within 6 months.. All thanks to the many generous partners and supporters of DfGI.
The Biggest Cheer
Perhaps the most demonstration of gratitude we have ever "heard" was at a deaf school in Kisii, Kenya. The girls there watched the signing translator introduce each of the team and at each introduction they signed "hello" and then raised their hands with polite finger wiggling "Spirit fingers", a sign we were told represented a cheer. But when they were told that what the team brought were washable feminine hygiene, their eyes widened and eyebrows raised as in in orchestrated union. Then their arms shot as high as they could wave them and their fingers wriggled with wild enthusiasm. The only sound were groans of excitement. It was the most powerful evidence of the joy these kits bring that our teams had ever witnessed. Supporters made it all possible.
- Sybilann Williams, Dr. OBGYN and Vital DfG Team member
- Linda Guzha who today is our DfG Zimbabwe Director.
Welcome to the team Linda! You are such a great example of why we all support Days for Girls.
- Scott Walton, Sustain Haiti
- Cindy Y.