Days For Girls Experience in Dominican Republic

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Jenni School DR2

On a recent trip with doTERRA to the Dominican Republic, I was invited to help distribute some Days For Girls kits at a school while we were there. I had heard about the amazing start of Days For Girls a few months prior to this, and I was excited to volunteer. I knew it was a fantastic cause, but I didn’t know much about how it actually worked.

I had learned that in many cultures (and even in my own, to a certain extent) menstruation is a taboo subject, and people won’t talk about it. So many girls, when they start their periods, they think they are sick or something is wrong with them. If they are too poor to have any supplies, they either have to sit on a piece of cardboard and miss school for 5 days, or use unclean materials to manage their cycles. And if they miss too much school, they might drop out, which leads to worse problems. They may get pregnant out of wedlock, get married and have a higher chance of death from childbirth at a young age or worse, they may be exploited in one way or another. So I started feeling excited to help some girls there!

Rob & Deb explaining project

We had a little meeting, and I realized they were really going to need people who could speak Spanish, to help explain and teach the girls about the kits. I took Spanish in high school and some college, but I do not consider myself very good at speaking. I can often understand some of what people are saying, but only if it’s kept simple. Nevertheless, I volunteered to teach a group once we got to the school.

On the way, Rob Young (a founding executive of doTERRA Int.) and his wife Debbie, explained how we were going to teach the girls and show them how to use the kits. They weren’t embarrassed at all, and made us all feel more at ease and confident in what we were about to do.

Rob & Deb explaining project

When we arrived at the school, there were 250 girls waiting for us in a medium sized class room. The boys were all peeking in the windows to see what all these crazy Americans were going to be doing with the girls. They finally went to their classes as we started.

Dominican School

There were some Dominican ladies from the health department, who we were training to do the teaching, and we were just there to help. So they went over a lot of basic information about menstruation, the reproductive system, and even some self defense.

Days for Girls School Teaching

My sister speaks better Spanish than me, so she was able to help answer questions the girls had.

Emili Days for Girls teaching cycle

Then we broke up into groups, and showed the girls what was in each kit. We did a little demonstration, and then invited one of the girls in each group to practice and show the others.

Jenni showing Days For Girls kit

I had one girl who was willing, and she was great! She made it silly and fun.

Girl wearing Days for Girls kit

They were very excited to get the kits. We asked them all to go outside when we were done to get their kits. Unfortunately, another group of girls arrived, so they got many of the kits, and some of the original group we had taught, didn’t get theirs. But the DFG project leaders said they would mail some immediately to them.

Jenni at School DR

I wished I had been able to speak better Spanish, as I would have told the girls that their bodies were beautiful systems of creation, and that they could be in control of their bodies and not let anyone touch or use them if they didn’t want. Some of them were amazed to learn that every woman in the world, even in the USA, has a period every month. I wanted to explain that this was not something they should feel shame about, but they could be proud to become women, and they could be empowered by the information they were receiving.

Distributing Days For Girls kits in Dominican Republic

Afterward, we were so elated, and I felt I had done a lot of good for these girls. I wanted to do more. I thought about the humanitarian trip my husband, Mike, was organizing 6 months later to Bolivia, and he wanted me to go. Several of my siblings decided to go on his trip and bring their kids. So we would have lots of duffle bag space to pack kits.

I told Mike I wanted to do Days For Girls on our trip to Bolivia, and he thought it was a great idea too. So I proceeded to sign up as a Chapter leader in my small town of Cedar City, with a goal of creating 1000 kits to take to Bolivia with us. I now realize that this is a very lofty goal, but we are steadily working towards it and I will post our progress on my new FB page. I’m so excited to continue empowering girls through this incredible program!

Want to help? Here are the materials and donations we need (Except for soap! I have hotels donating soap, so we have plenty of that!). If you just want to keep it easy by donating cash, just click here.

DFG Donations Needed

And if you want to get a group together to sew kits on your own, that would be great too. Here’s what one looks like.

Photo of Days For Girls Menstruation Kit

This is an amazing cause, and we need all the help we can get. If I get enough kits, I may plan an additional trip with my hubby and whatever ladies want to go with me, to Nicaragua. The cost of flights is about 1/3 the price of going to Bolivia, and it would be great to give more people the opportunity to actually go and help. So let me know if you want to help and how! Contact me. 🙂

Every girl. Everywhere. Period.

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