The Power of Two: You Gave Them Sewing Machines and Knowledge...
(This post was originally published on April 26, 2013)
Two years ago 5 individuals (Linda, Linda R, Mary, Don and Celeste) took on the challenge of training 52 individuals who gathered in Bullawayo, Zimbabwe to learn how to be Ambassadors of Women's Health and to make washable feminine hygiene products. It was a leap of faith that brought a breathtaking response. The stories of why this was so important, the sighs of relief, the woman that said, "This is going to change our world," were all just parts of this incredible day.
After the training, two of the participants would not take no for an answer as they took the knowledge they'd gained back to their communities. They also had the leadership of a Governor who embraced Days for Girls with enthusiasm. Those two, one a woman and one the first ever male Ambassador of Women's Health (that's another great story), are on course to cover their entire district. They have reached 27 schools, and an estimated 8,000 girls. They are proving the power of two.
Here's the report from Linda, the Days for Girls Zimbabwe director, "From the 27 schools covered, 50 students were selected to represent their respective schools and were trained. Several women from the community were selected to take part in this exercise and were trained too. Also there’s women’s groups that, using the knowledge and fabric resources that you made possible, is also making pads in Lupane; this group applied for grants and loans to forward their efforts, a loan from an International NGO to make pads, and will pay back the loan in December 2013. Since January they have managed to make 200 kits, of which the Manager of the centre says, 'It’s quite an achievement considering the fact that it’s the farming season.' (During the farming season most households would rather put their focus and energy on farming since its their source of livelihood.) In countries like Zimbabwe women are the backbone of farming."
Now they are requesting more fabric and funding for fabric. The amazing thing is that as we continue to prove this model and improve upon it, that EVERY District in Zimbabwe can be served, and the model can be applied elsewhere in the world as well.
There are still the other 50 Ambassadors, awaiting more services to reach more girls and women. It's breathtaking to consider all that is possible. World peace... One pad at a time. DfGI will be taking more fabric and resources to the team in Zimbabwe this summer and gathering their stories and results. That fabric and needed resources will be there, in part because of YOUR support.
Thank you! Hoping you are doing a happy dance with us.