Thursday, June 30, 2011
It is a fact that if a girl does not have a decent way to deal with her menstrual cycle, she will simply stay home...missing valuable days at school and falling behind. If this happens month after month, the days quickly add up to a point that is hard to overcome. Out in the villages, where families often live off their land and don't even have an extra $1 each month, purchasing disposable pads is impossible, and often women and girls will resort to whatever is around...rags, newspaper, even leaves.
Last month, Hannah came to work with Fount of Mercy for a week. We asked her to start making prototypes of washable, re-usable sanitary pads for adolescent and teenage girls. She took some research we had found, did some sourcing for materials, and made a few samples for us to test.
This re-usable pad project is in research stage, but we hope to turn it into an income-generating project which will not only benefit the women who make them, but the girls who wear them. When we have a new idea, we take the time to test it out, do cost breakdowns to see if it is viable in this market, and then make prototypes before introducing it to our women's groups.
This particular project is a collaboration between Fount's Vocational Development and Community Health Education programs. If it passes our test, we will train the women to make them, give them or sell them at a reasonable rate to local girls, then hold training seminars with the teens on how to use them and care for their bodies. We hope this will be a great project to get on its feet in the coming months....helping girls stay in school, and to be as healthy as possible. Stay tuned!
Written by Tara Hawks, Fount's Vocational Development Director