BREAK THE SILENT ISSUE OF MENSTRUATION: Use your talent to be part of the cause
We are inviting talented artist to create pro bono information, education and communication (IEC) materials and also wishing to raise for $2,500 by 1st September,2012 to buy over 600 afripad menstrual kits to be distributed during the CLOTH PADS, SHARE THE BENEFIT”campaign to be launched 30th April, 2012. The aim is to reduce the stigma associated with menstruation through raise awareness, health education including counseling as well as distribute reusable pads.
You can be part of this campaign in any way you can afford ranging from:-
(a). Spreading the message via your social pages/blog/website, telling friends, relates, etc;
(b). Designing posters/ flyers/ t-shirts/caps we can use during the campaign for education/ awareness on menstrual and reproductive health;
(c). Researching and linking up with magazines/ newspaper companies that can feature stories/ articles on the project;
(d). Researching and contacting organizations that can support the cloth pads project;
(e). Donating money towards buying pads or donating a pad to be given out during the campaign; etc.
(f). You can as well suggest other ways you can get involved!
We have been piloting the introduction and use of reusable cloth pads among girls/ women in 2011. Even when we were working with very limited resources, the project is creating impact, and the demand for our services is growing among girls/women, school leadership and parents. With locally sourced funds, we were able to procure 230 menstrual kits from Afri-pads Uganda limited (www.afripads.com) that benefited 200 girls in 4 primary schools and 30 women “as the control group”, which involved women from the community and senior women teachers in our partner schools.
In an effort to sustainably improve menstrual health and access to feminine hygiene products, we are seeking new partnerships from around the world, and have initiated negotiations with organizations such as Days for Girls International, DFG (www.daysforgirls.org). LUYODEFO is planning to launch a mass campaign to help promote the affordability, use and application of reusable sanitary pads among women and girls in Kasese, western Uganda. The campaign aimed to teach communities on the benefits of the reusable sanitary pads over the disposal pads; creating awareness on puberty, menstruation and menstrual hygiene; reproductive health issues; sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and girl child education. Key focus will be on the phase of the menstrual cycle discussing the functions of the relevant body parts, and the use and management of cloth pads including cleaning instructions for long term use/benefit. There will be some time for questions where the girls/ women can ask about anything pertaining to female hygiene, the menstrual cycle, and any other issues the girls/ women may face today.
We will be reaching out to schools, churches, and communities, as well as use a local FM radio station to educate people. During the outreach, we will provide reusable pads to women and girls at 50% market price (approximately $2.5 for an afripad menstrual kit in Uganda). The rationale for attaching a cost to the pad distribution actions is to three; firstly to promote ownership and sustainability through cost sharing (we enable LUYODEFO give back some dollar [$] for each pad we further request from DFG to help the pads continue flowing to more girls/women in need globally), secondly to ensure that we reach many girls and women as we continuous request pads from DFG or even buy pads locally if applicable, and thirdly to help meet operation costs.
During our pilot project in 2011 in 4 primary schools, we found out that half of adolescent girls consider it a disease and don't know how to deal with it. The girls were more often absent from school than boys because they had no sanitary products to use during their periods. Instead of braving embarrassing leaks and stains at school, they stayed home, missing up to almost 4 days a month (12 days in just one school term). This makes them fall behind in their studies, fail and repeat classes, and eventually drop out of school. It was also found that most women and girls use old cloths and sponge, which they wash and hide. Also that most of the women and girls catch many vaginal infections after attaining puberty. The reasons for these infections are usage of dirty and unsanitized rags kept from view in closed spaces, which often stay moist, breeding bacteria, which causes infections - health hazards.
LUYODEFO wishes to promote the health, privacy and dignity of women. While providing cloth sanitary pads can help increase retention of girls in schools, hence improve their academic performance and low the rate of school drop-out, it also reduces the stigma of menstruation and increases understanding of how to use cheap hygienic sanitary materials.
We your helping hand, we can together make a difference in the lives of girls and women in rural resource poor setting.