Our 2019 Cultural Immersion Trip Participants brought 600 Days for Girls reusable menstrual kits to Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The kits were made and donated by Days For Girls’ (DfG) chapters from Nashua, New Hampshire (300), Pennsylvania (100), Connecticut and Utah. Once we arrived in Bagamoyo the travel team and Students Empowering Students’ members completed the kits by adding soap, washcloths, panties and the new waterproof transport bags (made by the DfG Nashua NH Chapter) to replace the now banned ziplock bags previously included in kits.
We were all so lucky when SES member Gladness Mushi stepped up and I was able to train her to teach the Days for Girls program when we learned our regular health teacher would be away for the duration of our trip. The first class she taught was to her fellow SES students. Gladness is a wonderful natural teacher and it was a pleasure and honor to see her teach the class.
2 schools 70 kits = 70 Girls lives changed:
Gladness has this. She is so good with the girls; she gets their attention and keeps it for the next hour. The girls are shy to begin with and then Gladness gets them giggling and talking. The first school had 17 girls and the second had 53 girls.
Dunda Secondary School 87 kits:
Gladness and Zura (ASFE friend from Kibra, Kenya) taught the class together. Zura has taught the class before and now encourages Gladness to do the same. Two young women, one Kenyan and one Tanzanian working together to help other young women stay in school by taking care of their periods. The young girls are engaged in the conversation asking questions and answering questions. Words cannot describe how great this was to watch. Once the girls get their kits the faces are full of smiles.
Kingani Secondary School 93 kits
This is the last school we visit on this trip. It’s a long wait until we can talk to the girls.. The classroom is wall to wall with girls; there is just enough room for us to stand at the front. You cannot walk around the classroom. School is not in session so the girls have come to school just to learn about Days for Girls and receive their DFG kits. Gladness and Zura again taught the class. Afterwards we took a picture, this time I could not stand at the end of the row, I was pulled into the middle of the group. So many hugs and thank you’s today.
It has been a great experience in Tanzania with Asana Sana for Education to be part of their Days for Girls program. For me the trip was going to be about the Days for Girls kits, so to be able to go to schools and hand out the kits was beyond words. The hugs and Thank you’s from the girl’s was the realization that making the kits is making a difference in their lives.
Gladness was a pleasure to work with and to teach the Days for Girls program to. I hope that it has inspired her to continue her education. What a great honor to empower a young adult to teach a course and then watch the joy on her face as she does the same for other girls. Changing lives one kit at a time is a wonderful experience.
For me one of the high lights of the trip was to meet Seratiani in her Maasai village. To know that her DFG kit is so special to her that she keeps it in a locked box on her bed is something I wish everyone could have seen and will be why I will continue to make Days for Girls kits.