Oh my gosh, I haven’t posted for a million years! It’s good to be back in the blogging saddle. I have been juggling a lot of different things as of late. This seems to have caused a bit of a slump in my ability to type words worth writing and to write coherent sentences worth posting. But today I want to share with you one of the more exciting and important things that has commandeered my brain for the last few months. I am working on a project to integrate the work of two amazing organizations: Days for Girls and Mama Africa. In the next couple of days we will be sharing videos about both of these organizations and also a video describing our goals with the Mama Africa Days for Girls Project.
Today we are introducing Days for Girls and the work they are doing to dramatically change the lives of women in third world countries. If you haven’t had a chance to see our video focused on Days for Girls here it is.
I love what Days for Girls is doing! My husband and I had a very special experience a few months ago. We were told about a Days for Girls event that was going on at Davis High School in Northern Utah. My friend Lisa, a Utah Days for Girls leader, who has been supporting me and helping me take the initial baby steps on this project, let me know about this event. She mentioned that Celeste Mergen’s, the founder of Days for Girls, would be in attendance. We thought it would be neat to go and check it out. Little did we know when we got there that Lisa had set up a meeting for us with Celeste. We had the chance to spend about 45 minutes with Celeste and listen to some of her amazing stories. I wanted to share one in particular. One principle that seems to be a huge focus for the Days for Girls community is that when they go into these communities to teach the women about reproductive health and hygiene they do it without condemning the culture and their traditions. Celeste told us about a group of women that she has been working with closely. These women live in a tribe in a small village in Nepal. Their culture has practiced female genital mutilation for possibly centuries. When Days for Girls went in to teach these women they did not criticize the cultural practices, but instead taught them about a woman’s anatomy, reproductive health, hygiene, and the power of a woman to create life and the amazing process. Celeste said that some time after they had gone in that community the women came back to them and said, “We have decided to put down our knives. We do not want to continue this practice on our girls.” Wow! That story was so powerful to me! When these women learned the truth about their bodies and their potential as women they wanted to stop the continuance of this ritual. They didn’t need to be told to stop, they just needed to learn. Knowledge is empowering!
If you would like to learn more about Days for Girls here are a couple of videos that I have really enjoyed.
Celeste Mergen’s TED Talk
Days for Girls Introduction
Days for Girls Instruction
Well, that is it for the Days for Girls intro. If you would like to donate to our Mama Africa Days for Girls Project you can do that here.