Days for Girls

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Days for Girls logo 2018.png

Days for Girls (DfG) is a global movement that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual health solutions to girls who would otherwise miss school during their monthly periods. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2008 by American woman Celeste Mergens.[1] After visiting an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, she discovered that menstruating girls stayed in their dormitories for days, sitting on cardboard to absorb their flow, because they could not afford feminine hygiene products. Her first response was to organize donations of disposable sanitary pads, but she realized that this was not a sustainable solution — and the girls had no way to dispose of used pads. [2] She then developed the idea of creating washable, reusable pads and providing the girls with a personal kit of all they would need to continue their schooling with hygiene and dignity.[3] By 2018, the DfG Kits (designed to last up to three years) and health education programs had reached more than one million girls and women in over 100 countries.[4][5]

DfG Kits are made by volunteers who either work as "solo sewists" or form "teams," some of which go on to acquire the status of "chapters."[6] These groups have formed in many countries, including Australia,[7] Canada,[8] New Zealand,[9] the United Kingdom,[10] and the United States.[11] Each kit is in a draw-string bag and includes reusable cloth menstrual pads made up of colorful shields and liners; panties; a washcloth and soap; zip-closure plastic bags and other items. The kit enables girls to carry their clean and used pads discreetly and to take care of their own hygiene needs.[6] During the distributions, women and girls also receive health education to break stigmas and cultural taboos associated with menstruation.[12]

In 2012, Days for Girls International launched an Enterprise Program to help local women establish social enterprises to make and distribute kits in their own countries.[13] Close to 70 Days for Girls Enterprises now exist in more than a dozen countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.[14] In select regions and in order to improve sustainability, Days for Girls kits also come with menstrual cups, which have a longer use life than washable cloth pads.[15]

Days for Girls International is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, United States, and has offices in Ghana, Guatemala, Nepal, and Uganda.[16] The organization's impact and transparency have earned high ratings from GuideStar.[17] Celeste Mergens, the organization's founder and CEO, was awarded a Purpose Prize by AARP in 2017.[18]


  1. ^ Thorpe, Devin (2018-01-09). "By women, for women: The new economics of menstrual pads in Africa". ImpactAlpha. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  2. ^ Hoffman, Ashley. "Days for Girls: Improving Girls' Access to Education, One DfG Kit at a Time". Ecwid. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  3. ^ Mccray, Linzee Kull (January 7, 2014). "Period Drama: Helping Girls Around the World Navigate "That Time of the Month"". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  4. ^ "One Million... And Counting!". Days for Girls International | Turning Periods Into Pathways. January 5, 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  5. ^ Davis, Tom. "Bromsgrove School students bake their way to £180 for charity". Bromsgrove Advertiser. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Sewing DfG kits". Days for Girls. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Taree Days for Girls raises funds for hygiene kits". Manning River Times. 6 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. ^ Kim, Min Jy (February 7, 2018). "Days for Girls charity brings hygiene kits to underprivileged women". The Gazette • Western University's Student Newspaper. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  9. ^ Forrester, Georgia (May 15, 2016). "Charities seeing increasing numbers of women unable to pay for sanitary items". Stuff. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  10. ^ Thompson, Vicky (8 February 2018). "Students praised for community work in Malawi". The Press (York). Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  11. ^ ""Days For Girls" Club At Coronado High School". Coronado Eagle and Journal. 8 February 2018. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  12. ^ Montemurri, Patricia (13 February 2016). "Michigan-made sanitary pads keep girls around the world in school". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  13. ^ Mergens, Celeste (February 7, 2018). "Introducing the Enterprise Evaluation Report". Days for Girls International | Turning Periods Into Pathways. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Become an enterprise partner". Days for Girls. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Days for Girls International | Turning Periods Into Pathways". Days for Girls International | Turning Periods Into Pathways. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  16. ^ "Enterprise Program". Days for Girls. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  17. ^ "DAYS FOR GIRLS INTERNATIONAL - GuideStar Profile". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  18. ^ "Celeste Mergens". 2017 Purpose Prize Winners. AARP. Retrieved 16 February 2018.

External links[edit]