It has been an ambitious season with our work with the girls. In September we started a pilot project, implementing our education and distribution program covering entire schools for the first time in two secundarias: Esteban Baca in San Pedro Itzican, and José Vasconcelos in Chapala. Each school has around 600 students, so it will take us almost the whole school year to accomplish our goal of reaching #EveryGirl in each of these schools, but we are making great progress. It is our hope that reaching every girl will create a greater lasting impact within each of these communities.
Thanks to the addition of Elena as our New DFG Ambassador, we have been able to execute three week-long Fluyes in each school, and an extra special Fluye with the Brigadistas group in San Pedro. We have been able to accomplish the distribution of 140 sustainable menstrual management kits in the past two months. With each kit, every girl is provided ten hours of invaluable menstrual education that breaks the taboo around periods and establishes a foundation of body knowledge that leads to better decisions in life. We know we are making a difference, not only for each girl but for her community and for our future.
The two schools are very different. It´s so interesting to see how girls the same age can be so contrasting, depending on their environment. San Pedro girls are very shy and quiet. They lack so much, including healthy nutrition and a safe environment. And although the school and many groups are working tirelessly for this community, there are still many challenges the girls face now and will face throughout their lives.
In the words of Juan Alberto Ahumada, the school principal of San Pedro´s school, “Our work is crucial.” He told us that teachers and mothers applaud our efforts and encourage us to continue. The older girls have a great deal of anticipation for their turn to receive the program. They have talked with their friends and they can’t wait to receive their own kits.
Chapala girls are the opposite – boisterous and passionate. They are more acquainted to using technology. Many of them text me to let me know how much they cherish the experience and how they are using their kits and teaching other girls and women in their families what they have learned.
What all girls have in common is that they are ready for these tools and education. They receive what we are here to offer them with all their hearts and minds. They are grateful for knowing that menstruation is really one of our powers, and to understand how our female body works. They love having a female circle to talk about boyfriends, sex, consent and violence prevention. They finish their week wanting it to never end.
One of the days I was in Chapala, one girl from the first group that received our program when we first established contact there in May, came running to me, hugged me and whispered in my ear: “I had my first period last month. I used my kit. And I love it!” She’s the girl in the picture and her smile reflects that moment. That special connection is what we have with #EveryGirl we serve. Thank you Days for Girls for letting them become #EducatedEmpweredAware.