What if not having sanitary supplies meant DAYS without school, DAYS without income, DAYS without leaving the house? Girls use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find…but still miss up to 2 months of school every year. It turns out this issue is a surprising but instrumental key to social change for women all over the world. The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school.
In 2013 Jenny first explored the making of Days for Girls type menstruation packs in the tailors department as part of the ethos of Chodort to reach out to teh vulnerable and provide work locally. They have now distributed to several rural schools
The full cost of producing the Days for Girls kit is K60.* For girls who are classed as vulnerable; (single orphans, double orphans, poverty and HIV status or chronic ill health) the cost is subsidised through donations by 50% making the packs K30 per girl. Evidence of vulnerable status has to be provided through the schools. The packs have to be paid for in order for the girls to value them. K30 is the price of 3 years’ supply of hygiene products. With thanks to the Rotary Club of Dyce their donation of £250 will help about 120 girls get a subsidised pack giving each girl an extra 36 weeks of education over the three years, not to mention the diginity that comes along with that.
Education on how to use the packs has to be part of the distribtion of the packs and a leaflet is included with each pack. So far feedback from the girls has been very positive.A full set of Days for Girls pads with how they look fitted into the panties.
Did you know that women can buy reusable, washable pads here in the UK? Over a period of time they are cheaper to use, soft to use as made with organic cottons and so much kinder to the environment in production and no horrible land fill either.
http://www.daysforgirls.org to see the whole story and http://www.honouryourflow.co.uk/ is a UK company to purchase your own pack for personal use. (there are others!)
*Kwacha exchange rate at present means the pack costs the equivalent of about £1..60 for us to spend to support vulnerable girls. Earlier in 2015 it would have been £3.00. The cost in Zambia to buy the material is still the same as before as prices are rising for basic items.