Days for Girls Malawi and USAID Youth Excel: The Role of Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Education

In 2023, Days for Girls Malawi (DfGM) was awarded a grant from USAID’s Youth Excel, with support from the USAID Office for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. In partnership with IREX, DfG Social Enterprises and staff in Malawi participated in an eight-month USAID Youth Excel Implementation Research project to strengthen the programming and improve the performance of local youth-led or youth-serving partners in Malawi.

To accomplish these objectives, DfGM and USAID conducted implementation research to better understand menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) beliefs and practices in three districts, Rumphi, Dedza, and Mangochi. Overall, the goal of the project was to assess if DfG-led community interface meetings (which consisted of interactions with community leaders on MHH issues) were contributing to positive changes around MHH.

DfG is thrilled to share the results from the project with our community of MHH advocates around the world. According to project findings, community interface meetings did have a positive impact. These meetings helped destigmatize menstruation and fostered more sustainable and supportive MHH environments. Here are a few highlights from the study:

  • Once community leaders had accurate MHH information, two of the three communities created bi-laws to outlaw harmful practices associated with menstruation.
  • 86% of survey participants in Dedza strongly agreed that their MHH beliefs changed due to DfGM community interface meetings.
  • Survey participants in Mangochi requested that community interface meetings be conducted in their district at least once every quarter.

DfG Social Enterprises and staff in Malawi were honored to be selected for the USAID Youth Excel grant and to participate in this significant project. The results highlight the power of equipping local leaders with accurate menstrual health and hygiene information, enabling them to lead impactful community meetings that help remove the stigma associated with menstruation.

Access the infographic with the study results HERE.

Days for Girls
Days for Girls is an award-winning global NGO bringing menstrual health, dignity and opportunity to 3+ million girls (and counting!) worldwide.