Women’s Health and Education NGO Days For Girls First Winner of 2020 .ORG Impact Awards

Days for Girls International is the first of 10 winners in Public Interest Registry’s 2020 .ORG Impact Awards, winning the 2020 Combating Coronavirus category. Days for Girls is an incredible organisation providing health, feminine hygiene and education services for tens of thousands of women and girls in 144 countries worldwide. This year, in response to coronavirus, they launched two campaigns — Periods Don’t Pause for Pandemics and #Masks4Millions, which inspired over 3,500 people to register to make 1 million masks for those most in need.

This year’s .ORG Impact Awards features 10 award winners announced during a digital celebration entitled the 10 Days of .ORG. PIR received over 500 submissions for the awards from all around the globe.

The Seattle-area based Days for Girls International (DfG) was picked for their two campaigns created due to the pandemic, Periods Don’t Pause for Pandemics and Masks4Millions. Their Periods Don’t Pause for Pandemics campaign changes their teaching strategies, where they once hosted hundreds of workshops in classrooms, they switched to small village based outdoor education programs, and when no one believed masks were needed, they launched #Masks4Millions and inspired over 3,500 people to register to make 1 million masks for those most in need.

Since its founding in 2008, Days for Girls has provided DfG Kits and menstrual health education worldwide. The organisation’s efforts expanded at a critical time during the coronavirus pandemic, providing PPE services, resources and education across the globe. Days for Girls International has reached more than 1.8 million women and girls in 144 countries on 6 continents.

As the seriousness of the crisis came to light, the team created the #Masks4Millions campaign and participated in the Periods Don’t Pause for Pandemics campaign. These brought together thousands of volunteers to assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19 by championing hygiene advocacy and ensuring resources reached communities in need.

Days for Girls hosted webinars and created informational posters on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 along with best practices for supporting women and girls through the pandemic’s myriad challenges. Many of their leaders went door-to-door in remote villages to hand out educational resources and to talk about the importance of handwashing and mask-wearing.

In addition, the organisation supplied small grants to support the DfG Enterprises that were facing unsustainable conditions due to lockdowns. These grants, of up to US$250, were used to provide emergency food, supplies to make DfG Kits or masks and transportation to teach handwashing lessons and deliver masks.

Days for Girls International will receive a US$15,000 donation to the charitable entity of their choice and will be honoured as part of the “10 Days of .ORG” online experience that celebrates the achievements that have healed, inspired, transformed and connected communities over the past year. Each day of the 10-day celebration will place a spotlight on award-winning organisations and individuals making our communities a better place.

“The efforts in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic were more impactful than we could have ever imagined,” said Celeste Mergens, Founder and CEO of Days for Girls International. “Within one month, nearly 4,000 volunteers sprang into action to aid numerous vulnerable populations, including the Navajo Nation, a Navy ship and migrant families along the U.S.-Mexican border. This year turned our traditional operations upside down, but our team and supporters did not hesitate to continue turning periods into pathways, assisting with shattering stigma and limitations and fighting for a world with dignity, health and opportunity for all.”

“The work that Days for Girls International has done and continues to do is vital for creating an equitable and progressive future for women and girls. This year’s additional pandemic assistance demonstrates how critical their work is,” said Jon Nevett, President and CEO of Public Interest Registry. “Congratulations to Days for Girls International for being named the 2020 .ORG Impact Award winner in the category of Combating Coronavirus.”

Award winners receive a donation of up to US$30,000 to an eligible charitable entity of their choice.

Day One: Combating CoronavirusMonday, November 30th
Day Two: Promoting EducationTuesday, December 1st
Day Three: Outstanding VolunteerWednesday, December 2nd
Day Four: Championing Equality, Equity and InclusionThursday, December 3rd
Day Five: InnovationFriday, December 4th
Day Six: Advancing Environmental SustainabilityMonday, December 7th
Day Seven: .ORG Newcomer of the YearTuesday, December 8th
Day Eight: Fighting Hunger and PovertyWednesday, December 9th
Day Nine: Promoting a Safer InternetThursday, December 10th
10 Days of .ORG Schedule

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