By Takudzwa Chitima
Daisies foundation began as the Period Care Package initiative in 2020, an organisation aimed at assisting women by providing safe sanitary solutions while relieving them of the financial burden. The initiative donated comprehensive packages containing washable pads, menstrual cups, and other complementary accessories such as underwear, washing powder, pegs, and menstrual calendars. The focus was assisting adolescent girls and donations were made to 126 of these girls living in Mbare and Epworth.
The organization also offered training on Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) as well as Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) to roughly 190 adolescent girls.
Rebrand and Expansion: A Focus on Women Empowerment:
We rebranded in 2021 as Daisies Foundation, an organization named after the founder’s grandmother Daisy Thabete; a symbol of love, beauty, unity, and perseverance. The rebrand we believe will help in expanding our efforts by addressing issues beyond period poverty.
The most powerful investment a nation can make is in women, this is because it inspires a ripple effect that goes beyond the principal recipient. Research has shown that women reinvest most of their income and resources into their households and communities. Although still tasked with the traditional household responsibilities; with resources they have more control over household spending and are no longer passive bystanders in their own homes.
Women who have access to income are more likely to ensure that the girl child is obtaining an education. The impact is as follows: for every additional year of secondary education, a girl can earn 15-25% more income in the future. On an economic level, every $1 invested in a girl’s education yields a $2.80 return. Not only is her socio-economic status transformed, but the overall GDP of the nation is boosted. This is just one example, but it shows that ultimately investing in women empowerment is a key contributor towards eradicating poverty in a developing nation.
Our Projects: A Focus on Education
Apart from menstrual hygiene supplies, we have invested in human capital through education. According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, 60% of primary school children are sent home due to their inability to pay school fees. According to SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation), 67% of girls miss school due to a lack of sanitary products. As the Daisies Foundation, we saw a crucial need to run a campaign that combated both issues to ensure full participation of the girl child in school.
In October of 2020, we introduced Michelina Chindiya as the Brand Ambassador for the organisation, and during this time, we ran the Pupil Care Package campaign for the girls at Mbare High School. The beneficiaries received debt relief for overdue fees, payment of fees for 2020, school supplies, and reusable sanitary wear. Since then, we have further expanded to assist 17 young women with a passion for design who are between the ages of 18-35 with scholarships in digital design and coding. This course has been provided by Ingressive for Good and Geneza Training Centre. The program offers resources, mentorship, and professional development assistance to the recipients to help them kick-start their careers in design. As noted above, access to education is transformative in a woman’s life and we are grateful to all those who donated and partnered with us to make this possible.
“The secret weapon”: Inclusion of Boys in Women Empowerment
Pushing gender equality is not only a woman’s responsibility. Cultural norms and values deny women the right to autonomy and are grounded in a patriarchal system. Thus, we believe that the lack of inclusion of boys and men in the movement hinders progress. Moving forward, we would like to include boys in our SRHR workshops and tackle issues like consent. Tackling the issue outside of a sexual context, but introducing it within the context of everyday interactions is pivotal. This will build cognitive awareness of boundaries within the minds of young boys. As a result, boundaries within a sexual context will be less abstract.
Women empowerment is not a zero-sum game where men lose and women win. Everyone deserves to live a life of freedom and dignity. But, we must all work together to achieve inclusive and impactful growth. We encourage you to join us on our mission. Follow our work here:
Phone: +263 717 383 643
Images from Daisies Foundation
Originally published in the 119th Issue of Ndeipi Magazine