Partnership Spotlight: This is L.
September 2020 marked another year of a beautiful partnership between Days for Girls and This Is L.: a mission-driven period care company dedicated to advancing menstrual equity and accessibility for all..
With their support, we expanded our global footprint and distributed more than 7,000 DfG Kits (plus 100 education workshops) in six countries!
That means 7,000 women and girls now have what they need to manage menstruation effectively, confidently and with dignity – during one of the most challenging times in recent history. L.’s significant grant in 2020 allowed us to lift up local leaders, build enterprise capacity and strengthen our monitoring systems for even greater impact around the world.
Here’s a glimpse of what L.’s generosity brought to life in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Lebanon and South Africa last year:
When COVID-19 hit Zimbabwe, menstruators and their families were left reeling. Severe lockdowns restricting citizen’s movements and border closures destroyed the economy and drove up the cost of basic goods, forcing tens of thousands into poverty. Thankfully, funding from L. allowed DfG Zimbabwe to meet this urgent need! They distributed 1,000 DfG Kits and countless face masks to menstruators in remote areas including Victoria Falls, Harere, Jambezi, Mvuthu and Ndlovu Villages – all while sustaining DfG enterprises and sewists through the pandemic’s turmoil.
Last summer, two explosions rocked the port of Beirut – displacing an estimated 84,000 people into settlements and shelters, where basic necessities were scarce. Meanwhile, widespread inflation from the pandemic and a national economic crisis ravaged the rest of the country, pushing vulnerable women and girls (like those in refugee camps) deeper into period poverty.
DfG Lebanon knew they had to act quickly. Bolstered by funds from L. that purchased 500 Kits, they launched a first-of-its-kind emergency humanitarian response in partnership with DfG Chapters and Teams that prioritized menstrual health. All together, this campaign reached a total of 22,815 menstruators in Beirut and in Syrian/Palestinian refugee camps with DfG Kits, face masks and other emergency supplies.
DfG partnered with MIET Africa, a South Africa-based, children-focused education and development nonprofit organization, who is carrying out a four-year study to ascertain students’ knowledge of and access to menstrual health products as a result of the promotion of menstrual health in schools. DfG Kits provided by funding from L. was used to determine user acceptability and perceptions of washables. MIET Africa is working in 270 schools (120 high schools and 150 primary schools) in rural and peri-urban areas within three provinces in South Africa. Fifteen hundred Kits, accompanied by education, have been delivered to our partner and will be distributed to girls in the schools in the study when in-person classes resume later this year. Not only will this exciting project bring menstrual care to students who need it most, but it’s also a unique opportunity to make the case for washable period products nationwide (by providing lawmakers with much-needed concrete data).
Incarcerated women face multiple barriers to managing menstruation with dignity. In Uganda, Days for Girls launched a campaign to serve this vulnerable (and often overlooked) group in women’s prisons across the country, starting with 2,200 DfG Kits and masks delivered to Kigo Women’s Prison and Butuntuula Prison. Our efforts couldn’t have come at a better time: with COVID-19 isolating inmates from their support systems, many were forced to cut up bedsheets to manage their periods. The women were so grateful for our help during this dire time, and we couldn’t have done it without L.!
In Malawi, support from L. helped us directly serve women and girls while also advancing the national menstrual health agenda. That meant distributing 1,700 DfG Kits and education sessions in partnership with Inkosi (Paramount Chief) Theresa Kachindamoto: a fierce champion of girls’ rights, advocate to end child marriages and head of Malawi's task-force on Gender-Based Violence. This timely partnership helped advance our partnership with The First Lady of Malawi, and solidified our position as a thought leader in the national menstrual health space.
In rural Kenya, L. supported our efforts to serve vulnerable school girls in Tana River County, who are at high-risk for school absenteeism and sexual exploitation due to period poverty. After traveling 14 hours overland (on backcountry roads), DfG Kenya enterprise leaders distributed washable pads, education and face masks to 300 girls in the remote villages of Kulesi and Wema. Our efforts were warmly received by village chiefs and government officials alike, setting the stage for future distributions in this underserved area.
This Is L. empowered our global team to lift up thousands of women and girls in their greatest hour of need, particularly being able to act nimbly during the pandemic. And this is only the beginning. With their continued support, we're poised to bring the gift of health, dignity and opportunity to more women and girls than ever in the coming year, through exciting projects like:
- Partnering with the First Lady of Malawi to launch a national menstrual health program for underserved women, girls and students
- Expanding our services for incarcerated menstruators in Zimbabwe and Uganda
- Distributing DfG Kits and education in Bangladesh's Rohingya refugee camps
- Serving menstruators living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa
- Partnering with change-makers to expand our reach in Kenya
We couldn't be more thrilled by the possibilities ahead, or more grateful for this incredible partnership! Together, we are shattering limitations, fighting for equity and rewriting the global menstrual health narrative – one girl at a time.
About This Is L.
This Is L. believes access to quality period care is a fundamental right for everybody—regardless of identity, geography or budget. L. provides clean, simple, and affordable period care for people with periods. L. tampons are made with organic cotton, L. pads and liners are made with a chlorine free top layer. All L. tampons, pads and liners are free from synthetic pesticides and dyes. Every purchase of L. makes one period care product accessible to someone around the world who needs it. Through L.’s solidarity model, they support non-profit organizations to increase long-lasting access to period care products, education, and opportunities for long-term employment. Follow them on Instagram to learn more: @lovebeginswithl.