The Alliance partners with Days for Girls International to provide sustainable feminine hygiene solutions and health education to girls and women in Ouelessebougou. The Alliance shares Days for Girls’ goal to “empower every woman and girl to become an Ambassador of Women’s Health in her school, her neighborhood and her community.” The Days for Girls (DfG) project aligns with the Alliance’s health and education initiatives as well as promoting economic development opportunities. In the arena of health, girls and women are able to prevent disease, engage in vital conversations about women’s health and safety, and have access to sustainable feminine hygiene solutions.
Village Distribution & Training
Since 2013, more than 10,000 feminine hygiene kits have been donated by generous supporters and distributed by the Alliance staff in 25 villages. Program Coordinator Teningni Diakete has conducted DfG trainings and educated thousands of women and girls on feminine hygiene, sanitation and women’s health issues. This has been especially beneficial for the 5th and 6th grade girls in our village schools. They not only receive feminine hygiene solutions that allow them to stay in school, but also learn fundamental principles of female health that better prepare them for womanhood.
DfG Enterprise in Ouelessebougou
In November 2017, the Alliance started a Days for Girls enterprise — the first ever in Mali. A DfG enterprise is structured as a local business partnership with exclusive licensing access to the patented DfG Kit design and education curriculum. The Mali staff saw a need to implement a long-term sustainable solution to the growing demand for feminine hygiene solutions which included sourcing DfG kits in Ouelessebougou. At the Alliance’s compound, women work as tailors to sew and sell DfG kits to the community at a subsidized cost. They are also DfG Ambassadors and help the Mali staff provide feminine health education in the Alliance’s 25 villages.
The November training was led by Days for Girls Founder Celeste Mergens with staff from DfG Uganda. Teningnini Diakete was trained and certified as a Certified Enterprise Leader. Now, Teniningni leads a small team of tailors/ambassadors who are able to sew and sell DfG Kits, share the Ambassador of Women’s Health curriculum and generate income for themselves and their families. The Mali staff received additional training and resources to supplement their existing knowledge of women’s health, menstruation and DfG programs which also included self-defense, marketing and business development. The DfG enterprise ensures the Alliance will be able to continue providing programs to women and girls in need of menstrual health solutions to our 25 villages while establishing opportunities for long-term sustainability in and around Ouelessebougou. Additionally, the program will foster leadership opportunities for the Mali Staff and provide income opportunities for the DfG ambassadors.
In 2018 – 2019, the Alliance will continue to distribute kits and provide training on women’s health education, feminine hygiene and self-defense in 25 rural villages. Additionally, the Days for Girls team at the compound will sew and sell kits and education women and girls throughout the Ouelessebougou community.