Days for Girls (2008– )
In 2008, Celeste Mergens founded the organization Days for Girls to address obstacles impeding women’s and girls’ access to sustainable hygiene and health education by enlisting volunteers around the world to construct reusable menstrual hygiene products for girls in low-income countries. Mergens founded Days for Girls in the US in 2008 after learning that an orphanage she was working with in Kenya did not have resources for girls to manage their menstrual cycles. She provided those girls with reusable sanitary pads, and later that year, she decided to provide Days for Girls Kits, or DfG Kits, that volunteers from around the world made for women and girls in parts of the world lacking access to menstrual hygiene products. By 2012, Mergens launched chapters across the United States to allow volunteers to hand-sew the DfG Kits, and by 2019, the organization expanded to include chapters in Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Uganda. Days for Girls provides women and girls with education and resources necessary to manage menstruation, which can help reduce the instances of absenteeism for girls in schools and reduce the risk of contracting infectious diseases.