DFG is a US-based 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to create a more dignified, free, and educated world through access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions and to see every girl and woman in the world with ready feasible access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene & women’s health education by 2022.
A worthy goal backed by VERY large amounts of hard work!
We were introduced to DFG upon an invitation to visit the Anacortes, WA DFG Chapter. A group of women volunteer one day per month to sew Days for Girls menstrual kits. They are motivated by the plight of girls worldwide who miss school during their monthly periods because of lack of workable menstrual products. They generously offered 72 kits for us to take to Axim on our March visit, as samples.
And so on Friday March 18, Madame Bernice Ankrah, the Days for Girls Country Director for Ghana, and her husband Prince, traveled to Axim, Ghana from their businesses/home in Accra. Bernice conducted a DFG Workshop at the CDVTI. Maryanne Ward of Ghana Together was privileged to be present.
|Madame Bernice Ankrah, Days for Girls International--Ghana Country Director|
Then she plunged enthusiastically into the subject at hand: reproductive health.
|Pinning charts to the blackboard|
She went over both male and female reproductive systems in great detail for about an hour! She has the natural Ghanaian oratorical ability, and had us all mesmerized!
Suffice it to say that all the ladies (as she called them) learned more about the guy’s side of the topic, esp. the basic body parts involved in reproduction and how they work, and the guys about the ladies, than any of them had ever imagined! They gave absolutely rapt attention!
|Simple charts but effective.This is Ghana---can't trust electricity for PowerPoint slides or keeping a laptop charged. She used the tools she had wonderfully.|
Bernice finished the first session by imploring the guys to respect women and themselves when it comes to sex.
Bernice explained the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and women's reproductive health in detail using her charts and vivid examples.
Then she explained how the DFG-designed menstrual hygiene kits have so many advantages: they are washable, reusable, and last for probably two years. They have been redesigned/improved many times, depending on actual feedback, and work much better than the “rags”, as she put it---homemade solutions.
Since most of the girls present were taking sewing classes, it is entirely possible for them to make their own. The girls discussed the problem of having to dispose of sanitary napkins. And they pointed out the substantial cost savings over purchased sanitary napkins, which most said they could not afford.
|Director Safiatu Seidu gleefully showing off her "prize"!|
|Hey, Bernice, the kit fits!!|
|CDVTI sewing machines. Remember, with sporadic electricity, hand-driven machines can keep going no matter what!|
|Girls intently watching the sewing demonstration|
|Director Seidu and student handing out the kits|
The teachers told Maryanne they thought the kits were a very good idea. Teacher Flora, who teaches sewing and fashion design, was especially positive.
|Teacher Flora captured the entire session on her tablet---for future instructional use, she said|
|Every CDVTI female student has a DFG menstrual kit and new knowledge about their lives as women|
We give our heartfelt thanks to the women of the Anacortes DFG Chapter for providing the introductory kits, and for their workshop that Maryanne attended before introducing DFG to Axim.