Leggi questo post in: Italiano
last april i became part of a very interesting initiative, that is the donation of cloth menstrual pads to girls and women in developing countries. without any access to such products, women in these areas are forced to use tree bark and leaves and newspaper to soak up their menstrual blood, or even insert clay into their vaginas to deal with their periods. needless to say, these materials are neither efficient nor healthy and it’s very common to get infections from such practices, not to mention the fact that it often makes it impossible for them to attend school or work and can become a humiliating experience.
it’s a really terrible situation, but luckily it’s easy to help. so i’ve sewn up a bunch of cloth pads and put them up “for sale” in my miss hobby store with a reduced price to cover the shipping costs. i, on the other hand, offer the fabric and work. i will then mail the pads directly to the charitable organization. those who pay for these donation items DO NOT RECEIVE ANYTHING, besides the knowledge that they have helped at least one woman in need of a hygienic way of managing her menstrual period, thereby helping her avoid illness and absence from school or work. and that’s a lot! just look at the faces of the girls who have received their menstrual kits in the photo above!
when i decided to participate last spring, i chose the organization sister hope. however, when i was preparing the package to send, i found out that they didn’t need cloth pads anymore because they’d started a collaboration with a group producing pads in africa. so now i will send them to the shanti uganda society. in sanskrit, shanti means “peace.” shanti uganda is an organization which trains adults, many of whom are HIV+, to create handmade items or provide tuition for their education. they also provide medical services, especially for pregnant women, and yoga lessons for personal empowerment. they also offer workshops for girls and women to discuss health, safe sex, AIDS and menstruation, giving each a menstrual kit.
if you are interested in helping out, go take a look at
my store (edit: charity pads are not currently available and the store has been moved to Etsy) and perhaps you’ll decide to commission a pad or two. for the cost of a couple of coffees (or just one, if you’re in the united states), you can help a girl go to school or a woman to work, things which are totally normal for us and we take for granted. then, remember that just one cloth pad will help her many days because it can be reused for years!
even if you don’t want to commission anything right now, why not spread the word? write about this initiative on your blog and let’s try to help as many women as possible!
update: i sent 40 pads to shanti uganda in february 2011. many of these pads were funded through my shops, and the rest were donated directly by myself. thanks to everyone who helped!