Daisies Foundation is a non-profit organization which seeks to help women and children lead a life of freedom and dignity. We believe women deserve equal access to opportunities that allow them to influence social change for themselves and those around them. Thus, we look for points of intervention that can alleviate constraints in achieving upward mobility. The organization is named after Daisy Thabete; a symbol of unity, love, beauty and perseverance.
How we started?
Daisies Foundation started off as the Period Care Package Initiative (PCP), which tackled period poverty in Zimbabwe. Having access to safe and sustainable sanitary wear is important because it (1) reduces the risk of infection from unsanitary alternatives and (2) relieves women of the financial burden of acquiring sanitary wear, giving them the freedom to use that income on other expenses. Thus, the initiative donated comprehensive packages with washable pads/menstrual cups and other complementary accessories like underwear, washing powder, pegs, and menstrual calendars (see pictures for details). Under PCP we donated 126 packages to adolescent girls in Mbare and Epworth. We also trained roughly 190 adolescent girls on Menstrual Health & Hygiene (MHH) and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
Rebrand and Expansion: A Focus on Women Empowerment:
Now, as Daisies Foundation we seek to expand our efforts by addressing issues beyond period poverty. We believe investing in women is one of the most powerful investments a nation can make because it inspires a ripple effect that goes beyond the principal recipient. Research shows that women reinvest most of their income and resources into their households and communities. This is because they are still tasked with the traditional household responsibilities; but with resources they have more control over household spending and are no longer passive bystanders in their own homes.
For example, women who have access to their own income are more likely to ensure that the girl child is attaining an education. The impact is as follows: for every additional year of secondary education, a girl can earn 15-25% more income in the future. On an economic level, every $1 invested in a girl’s education yields a $2.80 return. Not only is her socio-economic status transformed, but the overall GDP of the nation is boosted. This is just one example, but it shows that ultimately investing into women empowerment is a key contributor towards eradicating poverty in a developing nation.
Our Projects: A Focus on Education
Thus far our greatest investment into human capital, besides menstrual hygiene supplies, has been in education. According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, 60% of primary school children are sent home due to inability to pay school fees. According to SNV, 67% of girls miss school due to lack of sanitary products. As Daisies Foundation we saw it crucial to run a campaign that combated both issues to ensure full participation of the girl child in school.
In October of 2020, we introduced Michelina Chindiya as the Brand Ambassador for the organization and ran the Pupil Care Package campaign for girls at Mbare High School. The beneficiaries received (1) debt relief for overdue fees, (2) payment of fees for 2020, (3) school supplies, and (4) reusable sanitary wear. We have since further expanded to assist 17 young women between the ages of 18-35 with scholarships in digital design and coding (course provided by Ingressive for Good and Geneza Training Centre). These women have a passion for design, but lack the finances to access a course to develop and utilize this passion. The program offers resources, mentorship and professional development assistance to the recipients to help them kick-start their careers in design. As noted above, access to education is transformative in a woman’s life and we are grateful to all those who donated and partnered with us to make this possible.
“The secret weapon”: Inclusion of Boys in Women Empowerment
Pushing gender equality is not only a woman’s responsibility. Cultural norms and values deny women the right to autonomy and are grounded in a patriarchal system. Thus, we believe that lack of inclusion of boys and men in the movement hinders progress. Moving forward, we would like to include boys in out SRHR workshops and tackle issues like consent. Tackling the issue outside of a sexual context, but introducing it within the context of everyday interactions is pivotal. This will build cognitive awareness of boundaries within the minds of young boys. As a result, boundaries within a sexual context will be less abstract.
Women empowerment is not a zero-sum game where men lose and women win. Everyone deserves to live a life of freedom and dignity. But, we must all work together to achieve inclusive and impactful growth. We encourage you to join us on our mission. Follow our work here:
Phone: +263 78 704 9127