At Days For Girls, we strive to build a foundation of self-reliance and self-sufficiency in the communities we serve. Now, we’re thrilled to unveil the next iteration of our commitment to sustainable development: The DfG Impact Zones!
This new system sorts countries into three zones based on the presence of local leadership/Enterprises:
By January 1, 2021, each zone will adhere to a different policy for DfG Kit distribution, menstrual health education and advocacy.
1. Red Zone: Enterprises will supply DfG Kits, and DfG-trained local menstrual health educators will deliver education. Volunteers and partners are encouraged to purchase directly from Enterprises if aiming to reach women and girls in these countries.
By partnering with and supporting Enterprises in this way, all stakeholders can double or even triple their impact! It’s a win-win: women and girls experiencing period poverty will have increased access to menstrual health solutions and education, and our Enterprise members can earn income to improve their livelihoods, grow their business, influence positive social and political change and ultimately reach more women and girls.
2. Orange Zone: Enterprises will supply Kits where possible; if no Enterprises are active nearby, Kits sewn by Chapters & Teams may be distributed. DfG-certified menstrual health educators will deliver education where possible; otherwise, education sessions are best taught by a local leader who has taken our Ambassador of Women’s Health/Men Who Know online course (and volunteers are welcome to assist).
3. Blue Zone: Internationally-donated DfG Kits, sewn by our hardworking Chapter and Team volunteers, are most effective and their distribution is encouraged in countries in this zone . Education is best taught by a local leader who has taken our AWH/MHK online course (and volunteers are welcome to assist).
This is a pivotal moment in Days for Girls’ history. The DfG Impact Zones will allow us to grow in a scalable, sustainable way that honors local leaders, supports locally-led solutions and invests in local livelihoods while continuing to reach as many women and girls as possible. It also allows critical resources (DfG Kits lovingly made by volunteers) to be directed to areas of higher need and impact, where local leadership isn’t as established.
By ensuring that distribution efforts aren’t duplicated between Enterprises and Chapters & Teams, we are creating an even stronger network of DfG programs working together in harmony to uplift every girl, everywhere.
“This is an exciting milestone in our commitment to shattering the stigma associated with menstruation via a sustainable development approach,” says Global Education & Chapters Director Leyla Isin-Xiong.
“It positions DfG and our incredible network to reach more menstruators, while also amplifying our ability to elevate local communities as the MH champions, change-makers, and thought leaders they are.”
The Impact Zones are the impressive result of one full year of listening, learning, and collaborative planning. The model was developed by professionals in the field to help us pursue what USAID refers to as a "Journey to Self-Reliance." (You can watch a great speech about it here). We adhere to the belief that prolonged external aid can cause dependency on foreign support – which may help in the short term, but is not sustainable or helpful in the long run.
Days For Girls Enterprises around the globe are already celebrating the positive impact that this will have for their communities and economies. When Alice Wambui Mwangi, DfG Enterprise Liaison and Smile-Star'D Days for Girls Enterprise Leader in Kenya, heard the news, she practically jumped for joy.
“[This will] uplift and empower locals,” she says. “The men and women who work at the Enterprises earn an income that way. Which helps put food on the table, pay school fees for kids and provide for their family’s basic needs. It’s such an important thing.”