A sustainable solution for women. Period.
Menstruation is a vexing problem for women and girls in poor countries all over the world. It is also a taboo subject in many societies, which means that very little has been done to provide an effective product for women instead of the old rags, bark, and leaves they’ve been using or disposal pads they can’t afford.
World Dance for Humanity is bringing a sustainable solution, REUSABLE CLOTH PADS, to the women we work with in Rwanda. Here’s how it all got started…
Last July, before leaving for Rwanda, we visited Direct Relief International to pick up hygiene and personal care products to bring with us. Their donation included 60 Pad Kits designed by the nonprofit “Days for Girls” and handmade by DRI volunteers. Each Kit contained a set of soft flannel pads, two “shields” with a protective liner to hold the pads in place, soap, a washcloth, underwear, plastic bags for washing the pads – all packaged together in a beautiful drawstring bag.
We delivered the kits to our communities in Rwanda, and were amazed at the response: the women were thrilled with them, literally screaming with excitement when they saw how the pads worked – and that they anchored in place with a snap.
See our Pad Delivery Video
In December, four of our young women stepped forward to lead the project in their communities. By February, they were attending a Days for Girls training course in Uganda, learning about pad-making, soap-making, marketing, and women’s reproductive health. In March they met with our Rwanda staff to plan their next steps in launching the Pad Project.
Meanwhile, we called the Carpinteria Community Church “Crafty Ladies” sewing group about making the Pad Kits, and they jumped on board. They’ve already sewn fifty sets of pads and liners! The Feminist Club at Santa Barbara City College is planning a Pad Party to assemble and raise funds for the kits!
What started out as a simple donation has turned into a very special collaboration between American and Rwandan women, working together to make life a little better. Period.
We are so grateful to Days for Girls, Direct Relief, the Crafty Ladies, the Feminist Club, our WD4H donors, and our Rwanda Pad Team, for bringing this partnership to life!
We hope you’ll get involved!