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Enterprise Spotlight: Chipo Chikomo

Imagine being invited to a meeting by the First Lady of Zimbabwe, the Honorable Auxillia Mnangagwa, at her residence.

This is what recently happened to me as I found myself sitting down with Diana Nelson, DfGI Advocacy Director, waiting for the First Lady to enter the boardroom.

As the Country Representative for Zimbabwe, I had lots of dreams after launching my Days for Girls Enterprise, but I had not expected this! I knew I needed broad support to be truly successful as an Enterprise in my country — government support to be exact. And even more precise, the First Lady’s support. I was ready for the conversation and was thrilled to learn of her own passion and interest in supporting girls. With little hesitation, she accepted an official role to serve as the Ambassador for Days for Girls Zimbabwe.

My journey to this monumental day began in 2011 when I left my gainful employment to find a sustainable way to address the menstrual health challenges bedeviling my country. This led me to India Kanthari Institute where I was trained in entrepreneurship. I believed there was a way we could make a pad that was washable but I had never seen any.

In my quest, I was selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship and Flagship program by the Department of State initiated by the former President Barack Obama in the United States. I was placed at the University of Iowa and near the end of my fellowship we toured Iowa Hospitals. I mentioned to the doctor giving us a tour about my dream and he told me about Days for Girls International.

I immediately searched on Google and found DfG website with a phone number! I called the office and as they say, “the rest is history.” This led me to learn more about the DfG Enterprise program. It didn’t take long to realize that this was the right organization for me.

Now, I believe the best is yet to come. My team is growing and with the support of the First Lady, we will ensure that no girl will ever have to be disadvantaged even when a natural disaster like the recent Cyclone Idai strikes. Together we can reach Every Girl. Everywhere. Period.

Chipo Chikomo