Celeste Mergens was awarded the 2019 Global Hero Award on Nov. 15 by the Seattle-based Global Washington. Since 2011, Global Washington has given out the lifetime achievement award recognizing those who have made significant contributions to improve lives in developing countries. Past Global Hero Award winners include Bill Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Neukom, founder of The World Justice Project and in 2018 Patrick G. Awuah, Jr., the founder and president of Ashesi University in Ghana.
“I’m deeply grateful to have received this honor,” founder & CEO of Days for Girls International, Celeste Mergens said in a press release. “I want to dedicate it to you. To the 65,000 Days for Girls volunteers. To the leaders of 148 DfG Enterprises. To the countless members of Chapters and Teams across the globe. To our amazing DfG staff. But especially, I dedicate this award to the 1.5 million women and girls that we’ve had the honor of serving since 2008.”
Days for Girls International, a 501c3 non-profit, was founded in Lynden and operates to increase access to menstrual care and education for those in developing countries. The organization does this by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers and innovating sustainable solutions to break down stigmas and limitations from women and girls.
Currently, Days for Girls provides menstrual kits and community health education to 1.5 million women and girls in 141 countries. The organization has also generated 148 social enterprises in 30 countries. Mergens was also recently named an AARP Purpose Prize Award winner, a Conscious Company Global Impact Entrepreneur of the Year and Women Economic Forums Woman of the Decade.