US organisation appoints Auxillia Mnangagwa as Ambassador
Days for Girls (DfG) International, a global movement that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual health solutions to girls who would otherwise miss school during their monthly periods, has appointed Zimbabwe’s First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa as its Ambassador.
This is in recognition of her work in alleviating challenges facing the girl child.
DfG global advocacy director Mrs Diana Nelson said she was confident the First Lady would be equal to the task given her background as a firm defender of the rights of the underprivileged.
“Through her Angel of Hope Foundation, the First Lady is engaging several individuals and organisations who can help address the challenges faced by the girl child. We are glad that she is doing so much to address their needs especially those from disadvantaged communities. She is really a champion.
“We are honoured to announce that she is now the ambassador for menstrual health with Days for Girls in Zimbabwe and we are excited that she has accepted the role,” she said.
The nonprofit organization was founded in 2008 by American woman Celeste Mergens.
Mrs Nelson was optimistic the First Lady would intensify the menstrual hygiene message through education and resources.
“We also discussed the goals that she has to help bring menstrual hygiene education to all the young girls and women countrywide.
“We are also grateful that she recognises there is such a need in the communities,” explained Mrs Nelson.
DfG country director Ms Chipo Chikomo added that after seeing the First Lady leading the fight for the girl child’s needs, they saw it fit to work with her.
“Already she is the ambassador of health and has always been on the forefront fighting for the needs of the girl child, hence we saw it fit to align with her. Also Amai, being the ambassador of Days for Girls will help amplify the voices that menstrual hygiene matters, and the wider spread of the message.
“It also goes with her foundation’s goals,” she said.
While accepting the new role, the First Lady, who is the Ambassador of Health and Child Care, said her vision was to ensure every girl child and woman in Zimbabwe has access to affordable sanitary wear and access to information that allows them to use the reusable sanitary wear in a safe, clean and healthy way.
“I am excited to have the backing of an international organisation with over 10 years of hard work, research and advocating for girls in over 128 countries,” she said.
“Being appointed the Days for Girls Ambassador for Zimbabwe allows me to advocate for girls and women around the country and to spread the menstrual health education message,” she said.
The First Lady vowed to engage all those in the water and sanitation health (WASH) sector and form a coalition to address the challenges of lack of sanitary wear faced by the girl child.
She added that programmes would be rolled out whereby women would be taught how to make the reusable pads so as to reduce the financial burden and also as an income-generating project.
“This organisation headquartered in Seattle, America, has come at a time we needed them the most. I am going to work with all institutions that deal with women and adolescent girls,” she said.
Many women are expected to benefit.
“We would like this to be scaled as soon as possible across the country to empower women to make pads and earn an income while spreading the sanitary health message.
“We are going to train women from all provinces who will then train others and we are going to work with all NGOs, Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care and all institutions working with women and girls in advocacy for menstrual health,” said the First Lady.