For young women in Malawi, their first period means scavenging for some spare cloth, clean paper or anything to create something that resembles a sanitary pad. Girls are forced to miss many days of school when they have their period – or even drop out of school altogether – due to embarrassment and lack of any sanitary products. This denies girls their right to an education, and often shapes the rest of their future.
Here at Wells for Zoë, we have set up a reusable sanitary pads project, where girls, who don’t do well academically have embraced this wonderful and much needed necessity. We have four old refurbished Singer Sewing machines, foot operated. At our tailoring school, affectionately known as “Maisie’s Makes”, we have 3 amazing girls, who teach the new girls tailoring skills they can take back to their villages.
These reusable sanitary pads are given to the girls we support in schools, who cannot afford such a luxury through our WfZ Girl Child Students project. Also, where we have opened new Health Clinics in the more remote areas, when ladies attend, they are gifted 2 reusable pads. On a recent visit to our Health Clinic in Kadikechi, where 88 women attended, these reusable sanitary pads were greeted with incredible joy.
The inability of women and girls to access sanitary products has led to an increase in infection, disease and a lack of education among women in developing countries. Around 50% of school-age girls in Africa do not have access to sanitary products; when many experience food poverty, sanitary products would be out of the question. When young women are able to go to school without the hindrance of insufficient sanitary products, the quality of life for women and families in developing countries increases rapidly.
Here at Wells for Zoë we are really proud of these girls, who will be tomorrow’s future. We ask if you feel you could help by buying a reusable sanitary pad, and you too will be helping to create a better life for these young girls and women.