For girls in developing countries, menstruation often means missing a week of school every month. When your family struggles to put food on the table, the purchase of disposable sanitary products is impossible.
Girls use old clothing, dirty rags, or even leaves to manage their periods, however these methods are both dangerous to their health and difficult to conceal, often leading to shame and girls being targeted with violence.
Help Lesotho is purchasing washable sanitary kits for girls in Lesotho so they can stay in school while menstruating. Each kit gives a girl 150 days—equivalent to 3 years—where she has the supplies to focus on her education rather than worrying about menstruation.
WHAT’S IN A KIT?
- 2 shields with a moisture proof barrier and ‘wings’ that wrap around a pair of underwear.
- 8 tri-fold liners. Each square liner can be folded in three to act as the ‘pad’.
- Zip-lock bags, a washcloth, soap, and a beautiful carrying bag.
WHO MAKES THE KITS?
Young women attending a sewing school have been hired to produce kits for Help Lesotho to purchase. This is the first income-generating project for the school, allowing the girls to make a small salary to support their families. Each kit requires several hours of detail work, but the sewers love the chance to help keep other girls in school through this project!
‘Overjoyed’ and ‘period pads’ are not two things that usually go together… unless you are Pulane!
Pulane is one of the first girls in Lesotho using the menstrual kits distributed by Help Lesotho. For the last 8 months, she has been using her kit so she can go to school, even on the heaviest days of her period. When she first received the kit, she was excited and a little nervous. She did not want her neighbours seeing dirty pads hanging on her clothesline! Pulane soon learned the ‘tricks of the trade’ and is able to use the pads totally discreetly – she is thrilled!
As a girl, I was taught to see my menstruation as a disease that was shameful and ugly. I stayed home from school for many days each month so no one could see what I was experiencing. I could not afford the real pads from the store, so instead I used my old undershirts under my shirt. When I was chosen to receive a kit from Help Lesotho, first I loved the beautiful pattern of the bag. Then I loved the contents inside because they make me feel like I can still be beautiful when menstruating. I only stay home from school now when I am actually sick. My grades are much higher and I will soon be able to graduate because I am learning all the lessons!”
Tax receipts are issued for all donations of $15 or more.