Globally, we see a movement focusing on "breaking the silence". A drive to put girls and women at the forefront of development. There is one cross-cutting field that is an instrumental key to empowering women, keeping girls in school, and breaking the cycle of poverty: Menstrual Hygiene Management. Days for Girls was born in 2008, in an orphanage in Dagoretti, Kenya. When Founder Celeste Mergens asked what the girls were doing for menstrual hygiene, the answer was shocking: “Nothing. They wait in their rooms.” She found that without access to pads, girls would sit on cardboard on their bunk beds for days every month, missing school and going without food, unless they were willing to be exploited in exchange for feminine hygiene products. The connection between menstruation and vulnerability echoes worldwide.
Our vision: To reach Every Girl. Everywhere. Period by 2022
Since 2008, Days for Girls International a 501(c)3 non-profit has been a vehicle for social change for women around the world by starting with the basics. We make and distribute washable feminine hygiene kits. Our global grassroots network of 550 chapters and teams are the volunteer heart of Days for Girls. They are the force that has enabled Days For Girls to reach women in 80 nations, on 7 continents in 7 years. Days for Girls’ ultimate goal is to ensure that women and girls can meet their own hygiene needs, even in remote areas. To facilitate this, DFG is building tiered country programs, each with a Center, Enterprises, and Ambassadors of Women’s Health. Centers serve as the hub for all Days For Girls activity in a country and as a place where feminine hygiene kits can be made, and trainers can be trained. Enterprises are groups that then finish sewing pre-cut kits made by Centers, and sell them in their communities. Women are trained in sewing, reproductive health, basic business skills, and soap-making. Ambassadors of Women’s Health form the final piece of the tiered country program. These individuals support both their families and communities by providing vital health information and by building their own business selling Days For Girls feminine hygiene kits.
Celeste is truly inspirational to me by her vision, willingness and commitment to make real changes in this world. We need women like Celeste who do the work, not only by pointing to a problem, but materializing the solution to the problem. If you want change, you have to go and get it. Join us!