Are you thinking about doing a Days For Girls delivery trip? Congratulations! You’ll have an amazing experience and see first hand how lives are changed when a girl learns why she has a period and how she can manage it. After doing many Days For Girls Trips I’m happy to share my favorite 10 tips for a Days for Girls trip that you can use to have a successful Days For Girls trip. These tips will help you have a great time and work well within differing cultures!
10 Tips for your Days For Girls Trip:
- There is no normal delivery:
- Each distribution will have its own set of circumstances. They happen in orphanages, street slums, rural schools, government schools, and some in tightly controlled religious communities. Because of this it will be different every time.
- How you enter the situation can set the tone:
- Deliveries usually start by meeting with local leaders. Ask questions to find out what the girls already know and answer any questions they have. In Lucknow, India, we attended several meetings with political leaders and the school principal. We learned their biggest concern was attendance and participation. Being aware of this, the principal left during the presentation because she knew the girls would not share their concerns when she was in the room. This was a sensitive move.
Knowledge is Power
- Help your translator prepare:
- My best experiences have been with a young translator or teacher, usually a college age girl. One of our translators, Prynka had excellent speaking skills and a quick sense of humor. She acted out some scenarios about telling a boy “no” to inappropriate touching.First, she did it with a giggling, ineffective flair, then once with stronger direct “no” with eye contact. She let the girls decide which would be most effective in stopping unwanted advances. If possible, meet with the translator before the training and view the training with her and go through the flip chart. As a result this allows her to be more comfortable and connect with the girls.
- It’s good to know what their school schedule is:
- This will help you understand how they will receive instruction. At one school the girls didn’t interact much because they were tired from exams. We had to rush the teaching and let them go early to study for more exams the next day. We should have included some small paper and pencils in this tightly controlled situation, so the girls could write anonymous questions. Knowing in advance would have helped us do what would have be best for them.
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
- Get a little silly:
- Talking about periods can be a bit embarrassing. If you laugh and giggle about it the girls will realize that it’s okay to laugh and giggle too. Because she was the youngest of our distribution teaching group we had the Abhisha Foundations president Shaily Tiwari do much of the presentation in a Lucknow, India slum. The girls related to her immediately. She tried on the underwear over her pants, put on the pad and danced, which made for a fantastic joyful distribution. A huge dance party followed!
- Who is in the room can REALLY affect how open the girls are with their concerns and needs:
- If you have a class that won’t speak, is intimidated, or is under tight control of the community, it might be up to you to read the situation, and ask certain people to join the class, or ask them to leave in a sensitive way. I have found that the girls are watching how you respect and/or defend them.
Get the Girls Involved
- Let the girls demonstrate how to use the pad:
- We had some of the girls get up and teach sections of the flip chart that they felt confident doing. Some of the school girls were very brave and wanted to show off their knowledge! After that they were very engaged. Always encourage the girls in the class to teach how to put the pad into the panties or wash the pad!
- It’s even better to get the girls to teach YOU something from their culture:
- The demonstration on self defense is a great time to involve students and get them laughing as well. (This is also a great way to make a friend!) As a result of this I have received many gifts, learned songs, and played games from different villages. But even better are the friendships made.
Fun and Confidence Go Hand in Hand
- Go with the glitter!:
- One of the fun extra gifts to bring is glitter for the handwashing demonstration, however, be sensitive to the fact that not all girls want to shake hands, and might be embarrassed to be touched. Sometimes, we put glitter on a ball or a red balloon to toss it around the classroom. This has been fun and worked well.
- Confidence wins over skeptics:
- In one distribution in El Salvador, my friend was up against a skeptical female prison crowd who wanted nothing to do with cloth pads. One “gang” leader in the corner was bad-mouthing the presentation the whole time saying “we already know about sex, are you kidding, look where we are…” and Maggie knew she had to turn the situation around. When the girl mentioned that the bag would be a great backpack with a smirk, Maggie grabbed that idea, and brought her up to the front, praised her for figuring that out first, and had her demonstrate how the backpack can be worn. This gesture of confidence turned the girl around and started to change her mind about the kit. By the end of class, she ended up being a big friend and proponent of the DFG kit!
Dignity and Hope
You give a girl dignity and hope when you deliver a Days For Girls kit. The Days For Girls kit is not only saving money, the environment and worry, it’s a fantastic ticket into a classroom to teach and empower!
Keep a sense of humor, a sense of purpose, a sense of calm, and the girls will respond with corresponding energy! A Days For Girls kit distribution is a life changing class for you AND the girls you are trying to lift. You will both walk away with a greater sense of joy, purpose and connection!
Want to know more about Days For Girls and why it matters? Check this out.
Curious about what a Days For Girls trip would look like? This Rishikesh Days For Girls Trip shows how it is done.
Do you have additional tips for a Days For Girls trip? Please share in the comments!